Ethiopian Air, at about 11:30AM on Wednesday landed at the Kaduna International Airport, signalling the commencement of scheduled international operations at the airport.
The B787 with registration number ET-AOQ had over 50 passengers onbroad and crew members.
Ethiopian Air, a member of the Star Alliance, was treated to a ceremonial shower by the Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) on arrival at the airport.
By 11:45AM, Azman Air also touched down as well. The aircraft flew in from Addis Ababa.Ethiopian Air had earlier agreed to fly to Kaduna.
The captain of Ethiopian Air told the Minister of State for Aviation Sen. Hadi Sirika that the runway was perfect and the instrument landing system (ILS) was great.
The Minister later told reporters he was satisfied with the work at the Kaduna airport. He said with the successful operations of Ethiopian Air, he hopes other sceptical foreign airlines who have refused to fly the Kaduna route will reconsider their position.
He said the new terminal building was over 95 percent complete and capable of processing huge number of passengers at a time. The Minister inspected the screening facilities, customs area, the port health services area, immigration and other facilities.
Over 10 Chisco Transport buses were stationed at the Kaduna airport to pick passengers for free to Abuja.
A cross section of the passengers expressed excitement over the readiness of the airport.
An Italian, Jionavi, who was travelling on Ethiopian Air to Rome said he came all the way from Abuja on his own to join the flight.
Jionavi, who is a consultant to the European Union based in Abuja said he didn’t feel any sense of insecurity.
He however noted that, though the airport isn’t complete yet, the work done is good enough and he is comfortable. He advised other foreign nationals to use the airport.