All is now set for the arrival of the first international commercial passenger flight at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, today.
The historic flight will be made by the Ethiopian Airlines which will now be the first international carrier to operate from Enugu.
The Enugu State Government has assured that adequate preparations have been made to ensure that the event described as a significant milestone in the economic life of the State and the entire South East, was successfully conducted.
Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
Governor Sullivan Chime and his colleagues from the other states in the region as well as many important dignitaries from within and outside the country, will be on hand to receive the historic flight. As expected, an atmosphere of excitement and jubilation now pervades Enugu and other States in the South East region as residents eagerly await the arrival of the aircraft.
An Enugu-based billionaire businessman, Prince Engr. Arthur Eze, had on Tuesday flown into the Enugu airport in a private jet direct from Senegal, creating history as the first international flight that touched down at the upgraded airport.
President Goodluck Jonathan gave approval for the upgrading of the Akanu Ibiam Airport to an international status two years ago and laid the foundation for the construction of the international wing early this year. The project is now on course while other existing structures within the airport including the old terminal complex had been renovated.
The runway was expanded and extended to accommodate bigger passenger and cargo aircrafts that would patronize the airport.
The commencement of international flights from Enugu today is seen by the people of the South East as a great relief and they have continued to shower praises on President Jonathan for fulfilling his promise to give the zone the international airport which Ndigbo had been agitating for since the end of the civil war.
Meanwhile, President Jonathan has approved Enugu as a Free Trade Zone. He gave the approval during his last visit to Enugu where he flagged off the construction of the international wing of the Akanu Ibiam Airport.
Enugu state government said it plans to locate the Free Trade Zone at the Ninth Mile Corner near Enugu to make it accessible to all businessmen from different parts of the country.