The Anambra State government has congratulated founder/chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, for commencement of operations of the airlines.
United Nigeria Airlines held its inaugural flight last Friday to herald commercial flights. The airlines has daily flights from Lagos to Abuja, Enugu and Asaba as well as from Abuja to Lagos, Enugu and Asaba, with return flights from Enugu and Asaba to Lagos and Abuja.
In a statement by Mr. C. Don Adinuba, Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment, Anambra State government described chairman of United Nigeria Airlines as “a well-known business leader,” saying: “Only a courageous and audacious entrepreneur can launch an airline anywhere in the world today in view of the state of the industry worldwide.”
The state government said Okonkwo deserves commendation for the bold move, and expressed confidence that “United Nigeria Airlines will take the aviation industry by storm.”
The statement said the government and people of Anambra State were happy with the coming of United Nigeria Airlines, affirming that the airlines is “unabashedly dedicated to Nigeria’s unity and integration.”
It said Nigeria needs peace and unity more than other things at this point in its history, stating “without peace and unity, no nation can achieve progress. This is a profound point which such international statesmen as the Great Zik of Africa, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King spent their noble lives trying to let the world appreciate.”
Continuing, it said: “Much as United Nigeria Airlines has thus far demonstrated reasonable social consciousness, we would like to highlight to it a message which strikes a harmonious cord in the people of Anambra State and has become a key component of the strategy driving the phenomenal progress which our state has experienced in the last few years: Aku lue uno, or Think Home.”
It urged Okonkwo to consider making Anambra Airport the headquarters of his United Nigeria Airlines operations, while expressing confidence that “United Nigeria Airlines is most likely to be a huge success, and the people and government of Anambra State will be glad to work with it to achieve its goal” as “the carrier and its founder are worthy ambassadors of Anambra State.”
The state government also commended Air Peace Airlines chairman, Chief Allen Onyema, for “increasing his fleet from 27 to 40 aircraft, despite the current turbulent state of the global airline business.”
It said while most airlines are struggling and making use of old and second-hand equipment, Air Peace is deploying brand new machines in its local, regional and international operations.”
The statement said: “The government and people of Anambra State are happy that both United Nigeria and Air Peace are committed to the right values. While Air Peace is irrevocably committed to peace in Nigeria and elsewhere, United Nigeria Airlines is unabashedly dedicated to Nigeria’s unity and integration.”
Revealing that Chief Onyema has pledged to build a hanger at Anambra International Cargo Airport still under construction, the state government said: “The hanger will cause a lot of local and international carriers to bring their equipment to the airport for maintenance and repairs. What is more, Chief Onyema is already working with the Anambra State government to get Embraer of Brazil, the world’s fourth largest airplane manufacturer, to locate a service centre for the African region at Anambra Cargo International Airport which will be commissioned later in the year.”