*By David Uka, Abakaliki*
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has announced that the state government would construct an airport in the state in early 2019.
Gov Umahi who disclosed this in Abakaliki when a delegation of the Ethiopian Airlines paid him on a courtesy call, said that the airport might not be the biggest in the country but would be the most functional and beautiful.
He said that the government had always accomplished all its set out to achieve noting that its business consultants would also liaise with the airline to assist government officials who intend traveling obtain discounted tickets.
He said “I am not happy about the quality of aircraft sent to the country bythe airline, especially to Nigeria especially the ones sent to the Akanu Ibiam International airport Enugu”.
He noted that he had also complained about Emirate airlines on such issues because people fly on more beautiful airlines on getting to Dubai, even the ones you can bath inside on first-class.
“I will not allow such situation if I were Nigeria’s president
because we have to be treated like citizens of other countries by the airline,” he said.
The governor also complained about the time passengers spend waiting to board Ethiopian airline flights, noting that it extends to 14 hours most times.
“Passengers also complain bitterly about the lounge and if one waits such for such time, the person should do so with comfort and am also not happy as the chairman of the south east governors forum, that no Ebonyi citizen works with the airline.
He suggested to the airline to dedicate flights that would fly through
Enugu to Abuja and Lagos, especially those that would fly in the evenings.
“The route to Lagos and Abuja from Enugu is viable and such flights can take passengers to those places by 4pm and bring back those who want to return to Enugu by 5.pm.
Mr Solomon Mengistu, Leader of the delegation and the Traffic and Sales Manager of the Airline, Enugu Office said that the airline
acknowledgs the south-east states’ importance to Nigeria, West Africa and entire continent.
“We are the only international carrier in the south east zone and we intend to strengthen our relationship with the region generally and Ebonyi in particular” he said.
He noted that the airline continually improves on its products and
services to meet their customers’ expectation as Enugu is their chosen gateway into the south east.