Monday, January 10, 2022 8:22 am
By Fred Chukwuelobe
The analysis looks sweet and tempting: 142 flights and over 3,000 passengers in one month!
Folks are celebrating and pointing to the viability of the Anambra State International Cargo and Passenger Airport which former Aviation Minister, Osita Chidoka, had warned was not possible.
I pray it becomes viable. I do because I have used it twice and it took me only 45 minutes to and fro my village in Anambra. It is a massive Airport. It is beautiful. It has hope. Let’s keep hope alive.
But if you’re quick at celebrating, please note that the period under review was a festive one. Many people traveled.
Again, only two airlines – Airpeace and United – currently service the Lagos – Anambra, Anambra – Abuja, Abuja – Anambra and Anambra – Lagos routes.
Also, the aircraft being used are the 50-passanger capacity Embraer ERJ ones plus the private jets which passenger capacity is even lesser. These are easy to fill and average 30 passengers per day.
The viability of the Airport will become clearer in months to come, that is, January to March before the Easter return, September to November before the Christmas holidays, and when bigger planes begin to fly the route.
I am excited at the prospects of the viability of the airport. I want it to succeed because I can avoid the Niger Bridge traffic gridlock or the Oji River – Amansea one if you use the Asaba and Enugu airports respectively.
Yesterday, 9 January 2022 was hellish. Many people using the Asaba International Airport missed their flights because Niger Bridge blocked completely, spreading up to Upper Iweka in Onitsha, anambra State.
You can, therefore, see why Anambra State Airport must be viable and must succeed.
Before then, all those boasting that Anambra people dominate the airports in Owerri, Asaba and Enugu should cool down. Those thumping their chests that we are the ‘biggest patrons’ of the three airports of Enugu, Asaba and Owerri should hold their horses. It is too early in the day to say so.
Boisterousness. That’s what they are engaging in. ‘Itu onu’. ‘Ime nkpotu’. (Grandstanding and boastful).
The taste of the pudding is in the eating.