Arik Air on Wednesday launched an inaugural flight to Bauchi from Lagos via Abuja.
The flight landed at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Buachi, at 11.35am.
Bauchi State Governor, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, commended Arik Air for extending its flight operations to the state.
Abubakar noted that the coming of Arik Air would boost the tourism potential of Bauchi, which is home to one of Nigeria’s foremost resorts, the Yankari Games Reserve.
He said, “It is a fantastic development as far as we are concerned.
“There is no way you can be able to develop tourism without having steady flights into the state, and tourism is one of the three major areas of our comparative advantage that we have chosen for ourselves as a government.
“So, it is a step in the right direction and we assure Arik that we will collaborate with the airline to ensure that the route is sustained.”
The governor said apart from tourism, his administration was also focusing on agriculture and mining in order to create employment opportunities for the teeming youths of the state.
Earlier, Associate Vice-President, Abuja and Regional Domestic (North) of Arik Air, Hamzat Bukar, described Bauchi as the ‘Pearl of Tourism’ in Nigeria.
According to him, the airline will be operating three weekly flights from Abuja to Bauchi, with connections to and from Lagos on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.
He said, “We are partnering with Bauchi State to improve its tourism potential. You cannot achieve tourism anywhere without airlines, and that is why we are working with the government.
“Arik Air has always been at the forefront of the development of aviation and tourism in Nigeria.
“We are committed to the opening up of the country to commerce and industry through air connectivity.
“Our plan is to connect all viable airports in Nigeria, so as to expand the frontiers of commerce and grow the economy.”