The Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu is rebounding with a record of over 6,000 passengers weekly, which is over 500 per cent higher traffic than before the COVID-19 pandemic era.
It was learnt that due to the rising insecurity in the South-East region, more passengers now travel by air. However, it was observed that the launch of operation by the indigenous carrier, United Nigeria, has boosted competition on the route.
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The international airport was closed down in 2019 for repairs and expansion of the runway and only reopened in August 2020 after more than a year.
Last Friday, United Nigeria launched its domestic operation using Enugu as the operational base, adding to three other airlines – Air Peace, Dana and Ibom Air, on the route.
Manager of the Airport, Mrs. Cecilia Oguama, disclosed that the market in Enugu is very huge for all the operators and said the commencement of operation by United Nigeria would also increase the traffic.
“We are happy that United Airlines has commenced operations and we know that if they create enough awareness, they will have enough passengers.
“The traffic in and out of the airport has increased tremendously. We are now having between 6000 and 7000 passengers weekly. Before COVID-19, we had less than 1000 passenger traffic because we had only one airline then.
“In 2019, we only had Air Peace operating but now we have four others operating regularly including United Airline.”
She said cargo movement has not started at the airport because the international terminal hasn’t opened for operations.