Air Peace airlines have commenced commercial flight operations in Makurdi, Benue State, connecting the city with Lagos and Abuja.
The service, which has excited Benue State residents, has been described as a good strategy for free movement of people and businesses between the central and other parts of the country.
The inaugural flight P47440 on Monday arrived at Makurdi Airport at 9:15 a.m. to a ceremonial water salute by officials of the Aerodrome Rescue and Firefighting unit of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
On the ground to receive the flight was the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, a former governor of the state and Minister of Special Duties, Senator George Akume, and the Airport Manager, Comfort Ogbuagwu.
Ground Operations Manager of Air Peace, Ayodeji Adeyemi, described the flight as “a historic feat as no airline currently operates flights from Lagos and Abuja to Makurdi”.
Adeyemi said the decision to operate to Makurdi was “borne out of our no-city-left behind the initiative, connecting various cities across Nigeria, thereby fostering unity and promoting impactful economic relations.”
The Makurdi route, according to him, has been in popular demand by Nigerians. “As a socially sensitive and responsive airline, we’re constantly reviewing our route network vis-à-vis public needs while considering strategic ways of expanding it to provide immense value to Nigerians.”
Ortom commended the airline’s management for the opportunity to have commercial air transport to Benue State, saying the development would boost the state’s economy.
He added that having a commercial flight to the state would open it up for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) as the fear of travelling to the state by road has been completely removed.
“I particularly thank the Air Peace Chairman for accepting this partnership and we are hopeful this would be fruitful. It will also ease the travel burden of our people,” he said.