By Friday Nwosu
Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s leading carrier made its first cargo flight into the Akanu Ibiam International Airport to the admiration of Businessmen and women who had long awaited the commencement of cargo operations in the airport.
Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, along with business moguls and top political office holders in the Southeast, had last week welcomed the carrier’s first cargo flight to the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
According to the nationonlineng.net, stakeholders who were on ground to witness the maiden flight cargo operation of the airline had praised the former minister of aviation Stella Oduah for pioneering the building of the terminal at the airport and designated Ethiopian Airlines to operate there.
They noted that former Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, should be commended for actualizing the government’s plan of making Enugu an international airport during her tenure.
According to stakeholders the airport, the commencement of Ethiopian airlines cargo flight into the airport, has now paved way for a seamless cargo operation for businessmen and women who had hitherto been faced with the challenge of transporting their goods out of the Eastern region.
The aircraft, operated by Ethiopian Airlines, was a Boeing B757, which has the capacity to carry bulk cargoes that many travellers in the zone bring in.
The coming of cargo flights to Enugu, it is believed, will end incidences of waiting for days by travellers to receive their cargoes. The cargo warehouse, they said, was timely because before now people’s luggage were exposed to the elements as they await clearance by concerned authorities.
Addressing a large crowd of people at the event, Governor Ugwuanyi described the event as historic as it would increase the profile of the airport and boost the economy of the state and the southeast zone.
The Governor said it was noteworthy that the cargo plane landed exactly three years after the maiden flight of Ethiopia Airlines to Enugu on August 24, 2013, when the people welcomed the first ever-international flight to Enugu.
“Today, we have gathered again to celebrate the first landing of cargo at this same airport, and which once more has happened, courtesy of the Ethiopian Airlines,” he said.
Ethiopian Airlines Traffic and Sale Manager, Enugu, Biniam Addisu said the airline will be operating will be operating twice to the Akanu Ibiam Airport.
He said the event was used as part of Ethiopian airlines 3rd anniversary celebration in Enugu as the first flight of the carrier landed at the airport on 24th of August 2013.
He said: “After very long time of waiting for Enugu cargo operation we finally got it and now we have started our cargo operation twice weekly, The event was used as part of Ethiopian Airlines 3rd Anniversary Celebration in Enugu as the first Ethiopian Airlines flight landed in Enugu on the 24th August 2013. Also is now seen as part of the 25th Anniversary (Silver Jubilee) Celebration of the creation of Enugu State.”
He added that the cargo flight was welcomed with a Water Cannon Salute from the Airport Fire Service Men at the airport.