Dana Air yesterday commenced scheduled flight operations between the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, Imo State, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, as part of its domestic route expansion project for 2018.
The launch of flight services between Owerri and Abuja also fulfill part of the terms of an existing joint venture agreement between the airline and the Imo State government, which seeks to ease the transportation difficulties of government officials, business owners and indigenes of the state through the provision of timely and affordable air connectivity to various destinations across Nigeria.
The Dana Air inaugural flight 9J368, which lasted about 45 minutes was operated with an MD 83/82 aircraft and had a 90 per cent load factor or passenger patronage. The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, commended Dana Air for introducing Owerri-Abuja-Owerri flights, saying it had brought the needed succour to the people of Imo State who have had to pay more for less services on other airlines on the route.
“Our desire is to make Imo State a hub in the South East and our partnership with Dana Air has increased traffic to our state because of their convenient fares, quality service and most of all, our people are time-conscious and Dana Air is a time-conscious airline,’’ the Governor who was represented by his Special Adviser, Mr. Ikenna Eme, said.
Some of the passengers on board the flight lauded the management of Dana Air for eventually acceding to their demand of opening up the Owerri-Abuja route as part of its daily flight schedule in Nigeria. The launch of the Dana Air flight coincided with the May Day workers celebration and most passengers on board the inaugural flight were labour union leaders shuttling between various state capitals and Abuja.