Imo State has launched Nigeria’s first state-owned commercial airline – Imo Air. Multitudes flocked into Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri as activities were spurred to celebrate the historic landmark in the state.
The first aircraft landed into the state at about 11:25 am from Lagos on Tuesday. The aircraft is the first of the five aircraft expected to run the air business for the state government.
The state governor of Imo state, Owelle Rochas Okorocha explained that the state ventured into the airline business to boost traffic into the state and ease the transportation of passengers and goods into the state.
The state governor disclosed that the state has signed a 10-year partnership with Dana Air services to manage the airline. Okorocha explained, “We have no Air Operator Certificate and that is why we approached one of the leading airlines in Nigeria to manage this service for us. We believe that our partnership with Dana Air to operate Imo Air is a step in the right direction to open Imo State to the world.”
The Manager of Dana Air, Mr Obi Mbanuzuo expressed his airline’s joy with the partnership. He said, “We are delighted about this partnership, and we have no doubt that Imo Air is in safe hands, as the choice of Dana Air to operate Imo Air, was an excellent and well thought-out decision by the proactive governor of Imo State.
Nigerians took to social media to react to the development:
— Dr.Brian-GCN (@BrianGCN) January 25, 2017
Owerri airport looking like a thee bedroom flat and they are lunching “Imo Air”. I salute Nigeria my country.
— Stephen Audi (@audi_stephen) January 26, 2017
@SaharaReporters this is how okorocha has been doing ponzi with the money and life of Imo citizens.
— SeenEnough (@AmeGerian01) January 25, 2017
Gov Rochas paid Dana Air millions of Imo tax payers’ money to brand one of their Aircrafts as ‘Imo Air’, suddenly he has set up airline? http://t.co/Q81SQ7r97a
— Mr Stanley Nwabia (@MrStanleyNwabia) January 24, 2017
Imo Air… And Imo state’s roads are not motorable.
— May Ubeku (@Maybeks) January 24, 2017