Three foreign airlines have commenced flight services into the recently inaugurated Port Harcourt International Airport.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, on Monday, announced that Air France, Lufthansa and Cronos Airlines from Malabo, Equatorial Guinea had commenced operations into the airport.
FAAN, through its Twitter handle, said, “Air France, Lufthansa, Cronos Airlines from Malabo moved their operations into the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.”
The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, told our correspondent that the terminal became fully operational on Friday when movement of agencies and installation of technical facilities were concluded.
She said Cronos Airlines arrived from Accra, Ghana, at 1 pm, followed by Lufthansa from Frankfurt and Air France from Paris at 7 pm.
According to Yakubu, the terminal, measuring 27, 000 square metres, has the capacity to process five million passengers per annum.
President Muhammadu Buhari, had in October 2018, inaugurated the new terminal, saying that it had become necessary for the government to take decisive action to ensure that the nation’s airport terminals met minimum international standards for the travelling public.
He said the construction of four new international terminals at Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano airports was embarked upon by the Federal Government with a view to modernising ageing airport infrastructure so that they could meet global aviation standards.
The President said with the increase in national population with the consequent surge in air passenger traffic, the capacity of the airport terminals had become woefully inadequate to cater to the increase in passenger traffic.
“Although palliative measures were periodically carried out, the facilities were fast giving-in to the effects of wear and tear. It, therefore, became necessary to take decisive action to ensure that our terminals meet minimum international standards for the travelling public,” he said.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had also stated that about $600m had been expended on the Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt airports since 2014.
According to him, the China Exim Bank provided a $500m loan in the same year, while $100m was provided by the Federal Government as counterpart funding.