By Chinelo Obogo
Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has revealed that the night curfew imposed by the Rivers State has affected the resumption of international flights at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in Rivers State.
Speaking to reporters on Monday at the inaugural flight of Ibom Air to Port Harcourt, the airport regional General Manager of the South South and South East, Mr. Felix Akinbinu, said that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had given approval for international flights to resume following the lifting of Covid19 restrictions but that the curfew is preventing international airlines from operating at the airport.
Amid rising insecurity, the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike had in April imposed a statewide night curfew in all the 23 local governments to check the attacks on security agencies in the South East and South South.
Meanwhile, Ibom Air has commenced daily scheduled flights to Port Harcourt and would add more routes before the end of the year as part of its ongoing expansion programme. The airline deployed its newly purchased Airbus A220-300 for the inaugural flight to Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, which took place on Monday, July 5, bringing to six, the total number of destinations it covers in the country, in addition to Uyo, Lagos, Abuja, Calabar and Enugu.
Ibom Air touched down at Omagwa at 11:10am and was welcomed by the water canon salute of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) fire service.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the airline, Mr. George Uriesi, said their aim is to be able to offer the promise of schedule reliability, on-time departures, and excellent service to a wider pool of domestic travelers across the country.