Pomp, as Aero adds Bauchi to route network

  • Mohammed plans Bauchi as air transport hub for N/E  

Searching for a flight to Bauchi, you need not look any further as Nigeria’s oldest airline; Aero Contractors today commenced scheduled flight services to Bauchi. The carrier joins Max Air as the only two airlines to the city.

This is coming as Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed has promised to make Bauchi the hub of air transport in the North East because of its proximity to Gombe, Taraba, Plateau, Yobe, Benue States among others.

He made the pledge during an elaborate ceremony to receive the inaugural flight of the airline at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi. Former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode was one of the passengers on the inaugural flight to the city as he drove off with the Governor after the ceremony.

The Governor who lauded the Managing Director of Aero, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood and his team for what he termed a great business decision to expand operations to Bauchi promised to support the airline in a way of subsidy to remain on the route.

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Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood alighting from aircraft as Aero made its inaugural flight to Bauchi. Photo: Wole Shadare

He further explained that flight operations to the state would help the state open up economically for the benefit of the state and carrier, stressing that unlike Max Air which ventured into Bauchi on the state’s government invitation, Aero came on its own because of the huge business potentials in the state.

He admitted that competition on the route would engender best practice and help the carriers to up their game in providing quality service to passengers, adding that Aero’s track record in the business of aviation stands it in good stead.

His words, “One remarkable thing about Aero is that they chose to come on their own unlike Max Air that we begged to come. We are assisting Max Air. This will open up communities in the state and open up Bauchi as the hub of air transport in the North East. I want to thank my brother, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika for all he has done for the development of aviation in Nigeria”.

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“If need be, we will go all out to support Aero by way of a subsidy for expanding operations to Bauchi. We have to do everything to be on this route. They have the track record and they have done their due diligence. We also plan to develop this airport into a cargo hub in this region”.

Mahmood thanked the governor and his team for the support and desire to see the airline operate to the city, promising that the carrier would continue to operate promptly and efficiently to Bauchi like it had always done to all the places the airline flies to.

According to him, “Bauchi flight will depart Abuja at 09:10am, arriving Bauchi at 10:10am. The return leg will then depart Bauchi at 10:40am, and arrive Abuja at 11:40 on weekdays, while on Sunday the flight will depart Abuja for Bauchi at 09:50am, with the return flight from Bauchi at 11:20am. Passengers from Lagos can fly to Bauchi via Abuja using the 06:45 flight out of Lagos”, he added.

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, and MD Aero, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood pose for photograph at an elaborate ceremony at the inaugural flight of Aero to Bauchi. Photo: Wole Shadare

To him, these routes would add fresh breadth to their schedule and complement the quest to rebuild the network to other cities as part of strategy to expand, hinting that Bauchi and Maiduguri are some of the under-served cities in Northern Nigeria.

The Boeing 737-400 aircraft, which will be used for these new routes, has just been released from C-Check by the MRO team of Aero.

“We are proud of our team for their expertise and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for their professionalism and support”, he added.

Wole Shadare