Enugu airport receives international flights today 9 October 2021 as Ethiopian Airlines makes a landing.
Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu hummed back to international life as Ethiopian Airlines touched down its tarmac today.
The event closes an ugly chapter for South East international travellers who have had to go outside the region to connect flights.
Excited Enugu airport workers scrambled out to watch and video the wet landing, after a heavy downpour.
The crew of the commercial airliner were also caught in the excitement. They arranged a celebratory cake to mark the resumption of business on this lucrative route.
The Airport was shut to local and international traffic on 24 August 2019 because of its degenerated landing facility.
It took a N10billion extra-budget intervention by the Federal government to rehabilitate it.
The rehabilitation was completed and the airport opened to domestic flights on 30 August 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic that began in February 2020 however caught up with plans to reopen the airport.
Federal authorities foot-dragged on reopening Enugu airport to international flights, after reopening Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt international airports.
They promised and failed twice to authorize Enugu international flights despite pleas from passengers and leaders from the South East.
The officials however relented in August when the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) gave the all-clear signal for flight resumption.
“Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu will resume international operations on the 18 August 2021,” NCAA said in a statement.
Ethiopian followed quickly with a statement saying it will operate a thrice-weekly schedlue at the airport from 15 September.
This was followed by another announcement that flights were to resume on Friday 1 October, which is Nigeria’s Independence Day.
The Independent Day flight was aborted at the last minute over fears that passengers may be harmed by Biafran separatists.
Enugu receives international flights