Saudia, often known as Saudi Arabian Airlines, has resumed operations at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, MAKIA.
DAILY NIGERIAN recalls that the airport was among those that were shut out of international flights since March, 2020 following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, as part of measures to fight the virus in the country.
However, the international wing of the airport remained closed even as the COVID-19 restrictions were eased and the airports reopened in the country, causing uproar from stakeholders in the state.
Bowing to the calls, the federal government recently reopened the international wing by commissioning the new terminal at the facility, which led to the resumption of operations by the Saudi Airlines.
Speaking at a ceremony marking the resumption of operations of the Saudi Arilines, held at the airport on Saturday, Saudi Arabian Head of the Consular Mission in Kano, Khalid Adamawi said the idea was to ease air travels to the Holy Land for intending Umrah pilgrims.
He said he was highly impressed with the sophisticated facilities he met on ground, which had made him confident about hitch-free flights operations from Kano to the holy land.
Mr Adamawi explained that the flights operations would be holding thrice in a week, adding that “observing the COVID-19 protocols by the intending Umrah pilgrims had become necessary for their safety net to be ensured.”
He pointed out that installing the state- of-the-art equipment at the International wing of the MAKIA was a clear demonstration of the Nigerian government’s commitment towards putting hope in the minds of the Saudi Arabian government that the resumption of the suspended flights operation would be feasible.
While commending the Saudi Arabian government for taking the decision to resume the normal flights operations in Kano, Mr Adamawi however stated that travellers from the northern part of the country are poised to benefit from the exercise.
In his remarks earlier, President of Kano Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, KACIMMA, Dalhatu Usman, described resumption of operations of international flights at MAKIA as a milestone in boosting commercial activities in the state, being the commercial hub of the nation.
He said the resumption of international flights at the airport was a great development in the aspect of reviving commercial activities, “especially with regards to the COVID- 19 pamdemic which had negative impact on business activities.”
“The stoppage of international Flights in Kano was a great set back to the business community in Kano. Our business people in Kano had been encountering serious challenges. But now with the resumption of the flights, especially Kano to Saudi Arabia, more opportunities will come our way and the economy would be boosted,” he assured.
The president applauded the efforts of the federal government in ensuring that the international flights resume full operations, stressing that the gesture would lead commercial activities to achieve greater heights.