The Ethiopian Airlines says it will fly Kaduna route with daily frequency with its Dream Liner aircraft during the six weeks closure period of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Mekonnen spoke after a closed door meeting between the Minister of State, Aviation, Sen Hadi Sirika and representatives of foreign airlines operating in the country in his office.
She said that the airline’s team of experts had inspected the airport, urging the Federal Government to address the areas of concern raised by the team in order to ensure smooth operation in Kaduna.
“Ethiopian airlines have been flying to Nigeria since independence and never suspend or reduce its flights since then rather we have increased our flight for both passenger and cargo.
“We have been here through thick and thin so we will always be here to support Nigerians.
“In this decision of closing Abuja airport, the airline stands by Nigerian government so we will fly to Kaduna with daily frequency with dream liner.
“And we hope the government will work on the Kaduna airport based on the remarks we gave during our inspection in order to help smooth operation,’’ she said.
Mekonnen also disclosed that the airline flew to four destinations in Nigeria, explaining that it flew Dream Liner aircraft to Abuja seven days a week and Boeing 777 to Lagos seven days a week.
She added that the airline flew Kano and Enugu three and four times a week and sometimes up to 5 times a week depending on the season and scheduled cargo flights to each city.
According to her, in 2017 the airline is planning to open more new destinations, receive more new and modem aircraft and give a reliable safe air transport service to our esteemed passengers.
“As a successful pan African airline, we are helping to sustain Africa’s market by connecting the continent to the rest of the world,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government had invited foreign airline operators to inspect the Kaduna International Airport ahead of the March 8 closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport, Abuja.
The Minister of State, Aviation, said that the Kaduna airport was fully ready to accommodate traffic diversion from Abuja between March 8 and April 9, when Abuja runway would undergo repair. (NAN)