A domestic airline, Air Peace, has said it is considering opening mini-hubs for its operations in Kaduna, Kano and a few other cities to help decongest the Lagos airport.
The airline’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, who stated this during an inaugural flight to Kaduna on Monday, said the carrier was embarking on massive expansion of its domestic flight operations to tackle air travel difficulties in the country and build bridges of unity across regions.
“The unity of Nigeria cannot be through politics alone, it can come through business and we are opening up routes to make this happen. Lagos is also getting congested and we are looking at mini-hubs such as Kaduna and Kano where flights can originate,” Onyema, who was represented by the Corporate Communications Manager, Air Peace, Mr Chris Iwarah, said.
“This is a significant milestone in our vision to unite our dear country, Nigeria through air travel and lift the nation’s economy through trade facilitation and massive job creation. Our plan is to massively expand our operations from our base in Lagos into mini-hubs across all regions of Nigeria and the West Coast of Africa,” he added.
He stated that with the successful inauguration of flights to Kaduna, one week after the airline started scheduled flights from Lagos, Abuja and Accra to Monrovia, Liberia, the carrier would connect the northern part of the country to the eastern part.
The airline inaugurated the flight with a 50-seater Embraer 145 aircraft, operated by Capt. Matthew Ekeinde.
According to Onyema, the airline recently acquired about six Embraer 145 aircraft to serve cities with air transport difficulties under its subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper.
The Acting Airport Manager, Mr Jacob, Ijaluwoye, said the service would give Kaduna passengers more flight options, adding that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria was prepared for the expected passenger growth.
The Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, urged the airline to help solve the problem of non-availability of direct flights from Kaduna to other southern states of the country.
“We need you to open routes from Kaduna to the East so that people will not have to go to Abuja before connecting,” he said.
Idris, who was represented by the District Head of Makera, Alhaji Shehu Tijani, said the airline would enjoy the patronage of the Zazzau Emirate Council and the people of Kaduna State.