Abuja airport reopens after six weeks off
(Ecofin Agency) - On Tuesday, April 18th, the Abuja airport reopened after a six-week closure for runway repairs.Announcing this, Henrietta Yakubu, spokeswoman of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, said an Ethiopian flight airlines from Addis Ababa was the first to land on the renovated runway.
“Abuja runway is 100 percent and certified by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. Consequently the airport is open for operations,” said for his part aviation minister Hadi Sirika (photo).
It should be highlighted that after the airport’s closure, many international carriers including British Airways, Lufthansa and South African Airways refused to fly to the substitute airport which is Kaduna (160 km from Abuja), for security concerns. Truly, repeated kidnappings have taken place along the Kaduna-Abuja road over the recent years. However, Ethiopian Airlines was the only international carrier that flew to the Kaduna airport during the closure. Its passengers were transferred to the capital in guarded buses and no incident was recorded.
The Abuja airport, according to the FAAN figures, handled 812 flights in December 2015 (the last month for which it has data), compared to 12 for the Kaduna airport in the same month. This is to show how heavily the closure may have weighed on the country’s air traffic.