By G9ija

It was praises galore for the Federal GovernmentWednesday morning, as the first commercial aircraft landed in the reconstructed Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu from Lagos. 

The aircraft, an Air Peace Hopper, however took off to Abuja, 40 minutes later. The resumption of full operation at the airport came precisely 379 days after the closure of the airport for rehabilitation.

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had commissioned the remodeled facility on August 30.

The aircraft, Air Peace aircraft with registration number,  5N-BUV, left Lagos in a 7:30am flight and landed in Enugu at 8:19am and later  took off at 9:00am for Abuja with passengers that included President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo and Senator Obinna Ogba among others.

This happened as members of the South East Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) arrived the airport as early as 7am to confirm that commercial flights had indeed resumed. Daily Sun observed that there was strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols irrespective of status as passengers maintained social distancing while they checked-in and boarded the aircraft. Nwodo, who spoke to newsmen before boarding the aircraft said he had a great sense of relief using the airport once more after one year of closure.  He said: “It’s a great sense of relief that in more than one year now I’ve had to travel to Owerri or Asaba in order to catch a flight in order to get out of Enugu. The toll on my car is inestimable, the tear and wear as witnessed on the ill-maintained roads between Enugu and Asaba and between here and Owerri is a good memory to cast aside.