Kaduna — Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Tuesday flagged - off flight operations by Ethiopian airlines from Ethiopia to Kaduna.
Speaking at the event which held at the Kaduna International Airport, the governor said regular international flights and an inland container terminal in Kaduna will help boost the state economy.
He said the state government would support the airlines to make flights from Kaduna to Addis-Ababa successful.
"The Kaduna State Government welcomes with delight the commencement today, August 1, 2017, of regular international flights from the Kaduna International Airport.
"The government appreciates and recognises the profound statement of confidence Ethiopian Airlines is demonstrating in the prospects and viability of Kaduna.
"The flight of Ethiopian Airlines from Kaduna to Addis Ababa today marks another step in the steady insertion of Kaduna into the global economy," the governor said.
According to him, with direct flight from Kaduna and the imminent start of operations at the inland container terminal, Kaduna is being upgraded to a port city despite its considerable distance from the nearest ocean.
He noted with the flight, international travel for business people and the ability to export and import cargo with little hitch are being considerably enhanced.
According to el-Rufai, Kaduna is a major road transport hub, agriculture power house and home to many educational institutions.
He said regular flights from Kaduna offer passengers from across the North-west zone a nearer alternative to Abuja, adding that the state government will continue to engage aviation stakeholders to ensure that more local and international flights come to Kaduna.
"This is giving considerable boost to the state government's strategy to anchor growth and development on attracting investments to create jobs, increase internally generated revenues and empower people.
"The investment strategy is receiving emphatic support with investment inflows above $300million in two years amidst two very successful investment summits," the governor said.
He stressed further that the state, has within two years successfully reversed the fortunes of the Kaduna Airport which had for too long been neglected both in terms of facilities and flight availability.
He expressed gratitude to the federal government for supporting Kaduna Airport to move closer to realising its potential.
He said both the federal and state governments made investments to the Kaduna Airport to serve as alternative destination during the six-weeks closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.