ABUJA, The Nigerian capital’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport will re-open for traffic officially on Wednesday but is set to receive on Tuesday a flight by Ethiopian Airlines, which says it will land a brand new Airbus A350-900 to mark the re-opening.
The airline’s Traffic and Sales Manager, Firiehiwot Mekonnen, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) here Monday that the airline launched its first A350-900 Airbus on the Addis-London route in August last year and now has three of the planes in its fleet while awaiting the delivery of nine more before 2019.
She added that the decision to celebrate the inaugural flight to Abuja was because of the airline’s commitment to the Nigerian market. According to her, the 313-passenger capacity A350-900 aircraft is expected to land at 11.15 am local time (1015 hoursUTC) to be the first aircraft to land at the newly rehabilitated runway.
“Ethiopian’s brand new Airbus A350-900 is landing in Abuja airport tomorrow (Tuesday) as the first aircraft to land on the newly rehabilitated runway and first Airbus 350-900 to land in Abuja. From now on, we are going to operate Airbus on the Abuja route,” she said.
When Abuja Airport was closed from March 8 for repairs to be carried out on its runway and flight operations were diverted to Kaduna International Airport, Ethiopian Airlines was the first to land its new Boeing 787 in Kaduna. The airline, being the only international carrier which agreed to operate at Kaduna, maintained consistent operations at the airport in the last six weeks.
Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State requested that the airline maintain its Kaduna operations even after the re-opening of Abuja airport and Mokennen told NAN that the airline was seriously considering the governor’s request.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK