At exactly 3.45 pm, United Nigeria Airlines made history as its flight touched down at the Bayelsa State Airport, Amassoma, to commence full commercial operations in the state.
The state government had in June ended its search for partners to ply the Bayelsa State Airport after it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with United Nigeria Airlines for commercial flight operation like other Airports in the country.
Yesterday’s inaugural flight which took off from the Muritala Mohammed Airport (MM2) Lagos at exactly 3pm had on board, Governor Douye Diri, of Bayelsa State, the Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Mr Obiora Okonkwo, Tokyo Olympic Silver medallist, Blessing Oborodudu, Dr Godknows Boladei Igali and King Alfred Diete- Spiff.
Other passengers on board the flight are members of the Bayelsa State caucus in the National Assembly, including Israel Sunny- Goli (Nembe/ Brass Federal constituency) Fredrick Agbedi(Sagbama/ Ekeremor Federal Constituency), Fred Obuah (Ogbia Federal constituency), Preye Influence Oseke (Southhern Ijaw Federal constituency), Steve Aziaki(Yenagoa/ Kolokuma/Opokuma Federal constituency) and Moses Cleopas, senator representing Bayelsa Central.
Akso on the flight was the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Abraham Ngobere who led members of the House.
A delighted Diri while addressing the crowd at the airport commended Okonkwo for believing in Bayelsa to allow United Nigeria Airlines begin commercial operations in Bayelsa. Diri who disclosed that full commercial flight would commence in two weeks based on passenger bookings, noted that the commencement of commercial flights by United Nigeria Airlines will boost economic development of the state.
His words: “This significant event is the culmination of the aspirations that was birthed by late Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, former governor of the state, which was eventually built by Senator Seriake Dickson, my predecessor. And it is under my administration that this project was crystallised. This is a demonstration that team work truly works.
“I am happy to report to you that the pilot of the United Nigeria Airlines said our runway is one of the best in Nigeria. It is our determination to make Bayelsa truly the Glory of All Lands and we are making Bayelsa a construction site.”
The Prosperity government has made overtures to several businesses and development partners across diverse locations and the easy of flying to and from Yenagoa will give a further lift to trade and tourism and accelerate the momentum towards making Bayelsa the investment destination of yours”, Governor Diri stated.
“I had the pleasure of taking this historic maiden commercial flight from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos today and it is without question a very agreeable and expedient way to travel to Bayelsa State.
“I am delighted to congratulate all Bayelsans on the inaugural direct passenger flights to the Bayelsa International Airport.