Governor Bassey Otu, 2nd left, and CEO, Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, cutting the inauguration cake.
Cross River Governor, Senator Bassey Out, has inaugurated a new aircraft for the state-owned Cally Air, with a promise to add three additional aircrafts as the airline resumed flight services at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar.
Inaugurating the Boeing 737 with registration No. 5N BYR, Tuesday, at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport, the governor said: “We have about three aircrafts that would be joining the fleet in no distant time. Calabar has been an international airport and we want to raise it to that standard,” a statement by his chief press secretary, Emmanuel Ogbeche, stated.
According to the statement, Governor Otu commended his predecessor, Sen. Ben Ayade, for initiating Cally Air and putting Cross River on the aviation map, saying with the 32-day non-stop fun to begin on November 30, the two planes would be flying the Lagos-Abuja-Calabar twice a day.
The governor used the event to commend aviation authorities for installing night landing systems, expressing the hope that the airport would soon be operating at the optimal.
“Permit me to thank the Ministry of Aviation and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for making it possible that flights, very soon, would be landing here till 9pm. The lighting is being restored and the airport is returning to total functionality to exist as an international airport,” he said.
The governor used the opportunity to welcome tourists to the state for the 2023 Carnival Calabar International Festival and called on them to explore the option of Cally Air as they visit for business and other recreational activities.
“I want to thank Aero Contractors, our partners, in this business. We have agreed to build even stronger and to make sure that this partnership becomes a very viable business for the state,” Otu said.
In his remarks, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, commended the governor for midwifing the return of services of the two aircrafts to Calabar, while describing the governor’s administration as one “poised to repositioning Cross River into an economically viable state.”
He called on air travellers to embrace Aero Cally as the state-owned aircrafts operate the most pocket-friendly fares in Nigeria.
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner for Aviation, Captain Eno Inah, expressed delight at the return of Cally Air services to Calabar, adding that the development has brought the needed relief to a lot of those looking forward to Africa’s biggest street party – Carnival Calabar International Festival.
He said with three additional aircrafts to be added to the Cally Air fleet, Cross River State is primed for robust aviation business.