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Foreign Airlines to move operations to Abuja and PH airports due to congestion in MMIA


…..this will not take the hub status away from Lagos

….. Kano airport for inauguration  in 2 months time, Lagos terminal delayed due to issues..FAAN

Air travelers and airlines, using the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos may be forced to travel and move their operations to other airports to de-congest the Lagos airport traffic.

It is no longer news that the Lagos airport is congested as most airlines both local and international have their base and operate in and out of the airport.

To this end, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), in a subtle way has asked airlines operating regional and international flights to move their operations to the newly opened international airports in Port-Harcourt and Abuja to reduce the heavy traffic experienced at the Lagos.

According to the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, in an interview with aviation reporters in Lagos at the weekend, the De-congestion of the Lagos airport would lead to the maximum use of the new airport terminals in Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Omegwa and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, adding that this would not take the hub status away from Lagos.

“They can easily go to Port Harcourt to fly. Also, as you know, Abuja Airport new terminal too has opened and Emirates would be starting from the terminal from June. We are expecting all the international airlines to start operating also from Abuja Airport.

“We want to encourage our passengers that they don’t all have to come to Lagos even though we know Lagos is the commercial nerve centre of the country and the airport is the hub, but passengers can travel from Abuja and Port Harcourt airports to connect to their destinations so that we can de-congest Lagos airport”.

She therefore encouraged air travellers and airlines to avail themselves of the state-of-the-art facilities to have a good experience using other airports, adding that FAAN was determined to improve flying experience of air travellers within Nigeria.

Yakubu said, some foreign airlines have signified interest of heeding their appeal to move their operations, the airlines include, Emirates, Turkish and Airpeace airlines among others.

“Turkish Air and Emirates would soon commence direct flight to their bases from the new Port Harcourt International Airport terminal. We want to appeal to members of the public that they don’t have to come from Port Harcourt or any part of the Eastern state to fly out of the country.

“Turkish will soon commence a direct flight from Port Harcourt to Turkey, while Emirates will also do so to Dubai, Air Cote d’Ivoire would commence direct flight from Abuja to its base in Abidjan soon”.

According to her, Turkish Airlines would commence direct flight from its base to PHIA from June 25, while Emirates would increase its four weekly flights to daily to Dubai Airport from NAIA from June 1.

Already, she hinted that Cronos Air operates three weekly frequencies; Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays from PHIA, while Lufthansa Airlines flies four times weekly; Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from the same airport.
Also, Air France operates five weekly flights; Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays, stressing that the Turkish flights would be operated four times weekly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, starting from June 25, 2019 from the same airport.

Apart from the foreign airlines, she emphasized that Air Peace would also commence direct flight operations to Accra from Abuja, while scheduled flights between Port Harcourt and Dubai operations of the airline would commence in April this year.

Yakubu explained that the delay in the completion of the new Lagos airport was due to issues of site position and connection to other critical facilities.

“Lagos airport did not take off early because of the issue of citing of the new terminal. Where we have it now, is not the original site, it has come up with a lot of issues – connectivity to the airside and the runway and others”.

She assured that Kano airport would be opened in two months time followed by Lagos,” we are assuring our passengers that once Kano is commissioned, the next airport would be Lagos”. She added.

“Kano Airport with another five million annual capacity will come on stream in the next two months”.


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