There was ecstasy in Maiduguri, Borno State capital on Monday when Nigeria’s oldest airline, Aero Contractors, launched its Lagos-Abuja-Maiduguri flight deploying its newly acquired state-of-the-art A320 aircraft on the route.

The flight departed the the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, before heading to Maiduguri International Airport.

At Maiduguri, the aircraft was welcome with a ceremonial water Canon by officials of the FAAN’s Aerodrome Rescue and Firefighting service with officials of the state government on ground to receive the Aero delegation.

Managing Director of the airline, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood, said the airline has taken the right decision by launching flight to Maiduguri, the first time the airline would be operating to the North East state after 62 years of operations.

He said the flight service would deepen connectivity in the state and provide flexible options for passengers on the route.

Mahmood noted that Borno has huge traffic with over 50 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the state apart from the turnaround being witnessed through developmental programmes initiated by Governor Babagana Zulum.

The MD assured that the airline would surpass the expectations of the people by offering quality services.

He said: “We are here today to make history after 62 years of operations, this is the first time Aero will be operating flight to Maiduguri. And Maiduguri is a home and State of peace.

“Aero Contractors, as you know, is an airline that stands for safety, passenger comfort and it’s called the reliable way to fly.

“We have come to Maiduguri and we are going to prove that this is an airline that has come to stay and also help to complement what the Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Zulum is doing.

“He cannot achieve all these without Aero not playing its own part, we have to be part of this development.

“What I can assure the people of Borno State today is that an airline has come with timely departure; safety and passenger comfort are going to be guaranteed.

“I can guarantee you that what we are going to give you will surpass your expectations.”

He said Aero Contractors was also keen to be part of the new found peace in Maiduguri hence its decision to operate to the state.

“You can see that peace has started returning to the place. And as of today, this is the fourth airline operating into Maiduguri.

“Aero is the oldest airline in Nigeria today and this is the first time we are operating into Maiduguri and also, the achievements of the governor have really encouraged us. Maiduguri is one of the busiest states today in Nigeria, despite all the challenges, we have almost 50 NGOs in Maiduguri and there is traffic for aviation.”

Representative of the governor, Prof. Isa Hussein, who is also the Chief of Staff, noted that the inaugural flight of Aero to Maiduguri on Monday, showed that peace and calm have returned to Borno.

This, he said, is reflective in the four airlines that now operate flights into the airport.

He said, “Maiduguri is the home of peace; peace has returned to Maiduguri. With the arrival of Aero, we have four airlines flying to Maiduguri, we have Max Air, Azman Air, Arik Air and now Aero.

“And the only way to achieve a low fare regime is to create a competitive environment. So with this, the competition had started and with the record of Aero, it’s safety first and comfort, I think the people of Borno State will definitely patronise Aero.”