Senior Political Adviser to the Governor of Delta , Rt. Hon. Funkekeme Solomon (right) and the Special Project Director, Asaba Airport, Mr. Austin Ayemidejor(left) during the arrival of Air Peace Flight 5N-BUJ in Asaba Tuesday 18/8/20. PHOTO: JIBUNOR SAMUEL.
Air Peace on Tuesday resumed its Lagos-Asaba-Lagos and Abuja-Asaba-Abuja flight operations, with a pledge to deliver the best flight experience to the travelling public on the routes.
The Air Peace Boeing 737 with registration No. 5N–BUJ arrived Asaba four months after the closure of the airport due to COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.
The aircraft which touched down at the airport at 8.50 am was celebrated with a water canon salute.
Pilot of the Aircraft, Captain Omar Al-Talib, said the carrier was delighted to have returned to Asaba after its flight operations were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He commended the Federal Ministry of Aviation, the NCAA and the Delta State Government for their efforts at reopening the airport assuring that the airline will scale up its operations at the Asaba Airport.
Senior Political Adviser to the Governor, Chief Funkekeme Solomon; Executive Assistant to the Governor on Communications Dr Fred Latimore and Chairman Isoko North Local Government Council, Hon. Emmanuel Egbabor were among dignitaries on the Air Peace flight from Lagos.
Funkekeme while speaking to newsmen said the investment at the airport was yielding adequate results and urged the airport authorities to ensure excellence in its operations.
“The investment in this airport has paid off with the upgrading of standards of the airport with a very high approval rating from the regulatory authorities.
“We had a very smooth flight on board Air Peace from Lagos and we thank His Excellency the Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa for all he has done to ensure the reopening of this airport.
“We know that this COVID-19 has altered our lifestyle but by the grace of God it will go very soon, but for now we have to adapt to the new normal. I appeal to the airport authorities to ensure excellence in their operations so that more people will continue to patronise the airport,” he said.
Latimore in his remark said the Air Peace flight from Lagos to Asaba was a 50 minutes flight.
“We had a very smooth flight experience. The COVID-19 protocol was in order and everything went well. Deltans and Nigerians are happy that the Asaba Airport has re-opened because travelers to Delta from South East and other neighbouring states will now begin to enjoy flight experience from Lagos and Abuja to the Asaba International Airport.”
Special Project Director, Asaba Airport, Austine Ayemidejor, assured that the facility has complied with all COVID-19 safety protocol assuring air travelers of the best flying experience from the airport.
“You know that Air Peace has been operating here on daily basis before the pandemic and now that they have come back, they have assured us of daily flight operations here in Asaba.
“So far we have six airlines, Air Peace, Aero Contractors, Azman, Arik, Ibom Air among others already indicated interest to return to Asaba Airport. My advice to air travelers from the airport is to always ensure they adhere strictly to safety protocols already put in place to ensure smooth operations of the Airport.
On his part, Delta State Vice Chairman All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief George Okafor who was among dignitaries on the return flight to Abuja, commended Governor Okowa for his efforts at ensuring prompt reopening of the airport.
“The return of flight operations at the Asaba Airport is a very big relief to us especially those of us that often go to meetings in Abuja. We thank the Governor and the state government and everybody that is here today to ensure successful reopening of the airport,” he stated.