Ethiopian Airlines moves operations to Abuja new terminal
Leading African airline, Ethiopia Airlines, has moved its operations to the newly commissioned terminal building at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.
With the move, Ethiopia Airlines becomes the second international airline to move its operations to the new terminal after Asky Airlines, which was the first to start flight operations from the terminal on January 6.
Speaking about the move, the Traffic and Sales Manager, Ethiopian Airlines, Mr. Tilahun Tedesse, said that the airline was determined to continue to champion air transport services in Nigeria.
According to him, the airline hopes to expand its operations, considering the space and facilities in the new terminal, adding that the airlines currently operate about 100 routes from Abuja.
He said, “we just started today in this new terminal and we will continue to be an example to other airlines. If you remember the last time this airport was closed we moved to Kaduna to serve Nigerian people and Nigerian passengers and this time also, we have been asked to start using this facility and we have started today.”
“Asky is our partner and we asked them to start first, but we are the first to commence international long haul from here to connect our passengers to Asia, Europe and America. We didn’t have a good space at the old terminal but here, we have enough space; many check-in counters and the air conditioners are perfect.
“We usually deploy our big capacity aircraft to this airport when we were using the small space, but now, I believe we will be able to deploy aircraft like the Airbus and B777 series,” he added
The Regional Manager, North Central, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Sani Mahmud, said the terminal had been equipped to handle all the international carriers. He added that the terminal had been equipped with fibre backbone to provide free internet services to passengers and airport users.
Mahmud, who is also the NAIA Airport Manager, expressed optimism that other airlines such as Emirates, Lufthansa, Egypt Air and British Airways would likely move their operations into the terminal in not too distant future.
He stated that the issue of connectivity had been the reason given by some airlines for the delay in moving their operations to the terminal.
“We feel great that the terminal has come alive after it was commissioned last year and one of the biggest airlines, Ethiopian Airlines has moved its operations into the terminal. We are grateful for their cooperation and we hope that very soon, others will join.
“When we have these two giants here, others will be eager to come. Hopefully, all the airlines will come in within a week because the connections have been done. The duty free shops are in progress because the management wants a uniform-style that will be of international standard and we are ready to provide world class services here,” Mahmud said.
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