Posted by Sade Williams
Nigeria’s foremost airline, Aero Contractors, has reduced airfare to Yola as it begins flight operations to the capital of Adamawa state.
The airline, which is repositioning its scheduled and fixed wing operations as it increases aircraft in its fleet, marked its inaugural flight to Yola via Abuja on Tuesday with high load factor.
The airline’s Boeing 737-500 aircraft touched down at the Yola International Airport at exactly 6:00 pm to a ceremonial water salute by the airport firefighters and excited passengers who lauded the efficiency of the nation’s oldest carrier, known for its goodwill and safety record.
The aircraft had departed Lagos to Yola enroute Abuja on the flight commanded by the airline’s Chief Pilot, Capt. Imoleayo Adebunle.
The airline said its Yola flight departs Lagos 3:20 p.m daily, arrives Abuja 4:35 before departing for Yola at 5 pmand arriving at 6:10 according to the Lagos-Yola schedule.
According to passengers who travelled with the flight, the coming of Aero has deepened flight options to travellers desirous of seamless connectivity from Lagos or Abuja to the North Eastern state.
To attract potential passengers who travel regularly on the route, the airline has also started with a promo fare of N18,500 for Yola to Abuja and N20,000 for Yola to Lagos which is a two-hour flight.
Interim Station Manager for the airline, AbdulMalik Musa, said the airline has decided to make it a night stop in Yola and early morning departure to enable business people meet their morning schedule in Abuja and Lagos.
He said it was a deliberate business strategy as Aero is the only airline out of the three other carriers operating to Yola doing night stop in Yola and morning departure.
The station manager assured that the airline would continue to provide on-time and excellent in-flight service on the route.
“We are fully prepared for this service. As you can see the aircraft is on ground on schedule from Lagos down to Abuja. That is how we want to keep it. The schedule is morning departure. We commence boarding at 7 am and by 7:30, we are out of this place.
“We decided to pick this time for the numerous passengers in Yola because some of them are business people and working class people. They can be able to be in Abuja at 8:30 a.m to meet the office hours and their business schedule as well as in Lagos at 10:30 a.m and be able to come back if they wish,” he said.
He added that ‘there are four airlines operating into Yola including us. So the competition is there. We have to come into the market with a new strategy. So we decided to make it a night stop. We started with a promo fare of N18,500 to Abuja and N20,000 to Lagos. I’m sure no airline can beat that. It is an opening for the youths’.
Aero contractors marked a significant turnaround in less than two years with an MRO facility and more aircraft in its fleet.