By ABDULLAHI MOHAMMED
DUTSE- Overland Airline resumed flight services to Dutse on Monday after it had suspended same for seven years.
The suspension came as a result of business misunderstanding between the airline and the state government, which has now been resolved.
Managing Director of the airline, Mr Edward Boyo, said the airline would operate thrice weekly into the Dutse International Airport on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
He spoke at the resumption of flight services to the Jigawa capital.
Boyo said the airline would eventually increase the number of weekly flight schedules from three days to five days, including Fridays as requested by state government officials.
He commended the doggedness of Hajiya Furera Jumare, Director-General of “InvestJigawa’’, the state’s investment promotion agency, in getting Overland to return to Jigawa.
Boyo saluted Jumare’s efforts at getting results and said it had resulted in getting the airline to create an investment route from Dutse to Abuja and to other parts of the country.
He enjoined well-to-do people of Jigawa to take advantage of the service and woo investors to the state, which has a lot of untapped potentials.
He also promised to make the fares affordable and assured that the airline had returned to stay and to expand its services in Jigawa.
In his remarks, Gov. Muhammad Badaru of Jigawa said the return of Overland to Jigawa was a thing of joy.
Badaru, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Umar Namadi, assured Overland Airline of government’s commitment to the new agreement which was not made public.
Also speaking, the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Nuhu Muhammadu Sinusi, thanked Overland Airline for restoring services in Jigawa.
The emir also expressed appreciation to the state government for making sure that the airport would be utilised efficiently again, adding that the effort would not be overlooked.
He said that the people of Jigawa were very much aware of the fact that communication and transportation were essential to meaningful investment in any community.
The traditional ruler assured that the palace would do everything possible to promote tourism and leisure-related activities in the state to woo investors.
A prospective passenger and the immediate past Comptroller-General of Immigration, Mr Muhammad Babandede, said it was very sad that a beautiful airport, well-built and well-equipped had been underutilised over the years.
“I am glad today is the official launch of Overland Airline services, flight from Dutse to Abuja and back to Dutse.
“This is commendable and is very good for us, especially those of us near Dutse or far away from Kano.
“I am from Hadejia. I came from Hadejia and I will join the flight to Abuja,’’ Babandede said.
He encouraged citizens to patronise the airline, especially those from Jigawa and Yobe.
Babandede also expressed happiness that the Overland flight services in Dutse would attract more investors from Lagos and other parts of the country.
In her remarks, Jumare said she was delighted to witness the return of Overland Airline to Jigawa after the seven-year suspension of operations.
Jumare also pleaded with the airline to consider employing Jigawa indigenes in its recruitment exercises. (NAN)