An Ethiopian Airlines flight landed at Kaduna International Airport at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday as the first international airline to land at the airport.
Azman Airlines, a domestic operator, also landed at 11.45 a.m. to mark the commencement of six weeks’ operations at the facility following the closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The Federal Government plans to close the Abuja airport at midnight to enable the rehabilitation of the runway, a decision that has raised concerns among stakeholders.
The Ethiopian Airlines flight was a Boeing 787 Dream Liner with 286 passenger capacity, while Azman flew in a Boeing 737.
A passenger on the Ethiopian Airlines plane, Anselm Johnson, said the flight was a pleasant experience.
He expressed delight with facilities at the airport.
Mr. Johnson said he was satisfied with the arrangements being put in place by the Federal Government to ease the difficulties of passengers travelling to and from Abuja.
A Rome-bound passenger of the airline, Jio Vanni, said that the airport terminal was good and commended the government for the alternative arrangement it made for the Abuja airport.
Mr. Vanni said that he did not feel any sense of insecurity while travelling from Abuja to Kaduna on Wednesday morning.
He said ‘’a lot has been done by the government in recent times and I think many people will travel through Kaduna.”
Meanwhile, a large number of passengers transported from Abuja to Kaduna by road in buses arrived at the airport at noon.
The buses were escorted by a large number of security vehicles.
At the terminal, all the relevant agencies, including Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service and Aviation Security were available to ensure the successful take-off of the six- week operations.