The inaugural flight of Air Peace Airline from Lagos to Ilorin landed at the Ilorin International Airport on Thursday.
The aircraft, with registration number 5N/BQR which was scheduled to arrive at the airport at 8.55 a.m, taxied down at 11 a.m due to a minor technical hitch.
The Air Peace aircraft which had some passengers on board from Lagos was received by the state Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi, on behalf of Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
Other dignitaries to welcome the aircraft were the National President of the Ilorin Descendants Progressives Union (IEDPU), Alhaji Otta Aliyu-Uthman.
In his remark, the governor said the arrival of Air Peace to the state would assist rapid transformation being embarked upon by the state government in all sectors of the economy.
According to him, the state government is embarking on an investment programme aimed at eliminating poverty and improving business activities.
He assured the management of the Air Peace Airline of adequate security and a conducive environment to transact business without hindrance in all parts of the state.
He said the state had registered its presence in the national and international arena as centre of business, ICT, technology and other human endeavours.
The governor assured the management of the airline that it would not regret opening Lagos and Ilorin routes as the state was the most peaceful state in North Central Nigeria.
Earlier, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Airline, Chief Allen Onyema, said the flag-off of the inaugural flight signified the provision of more network options and connectivity for the people in the middle belt region.
He described the move as a momentous feat as the company would be operating daily flights into Ilorin from Lagos and Abuja.
Onyema was represented by the Safety Manager of the company, Captain Godfrey Ogbogu.
He said Air Peace has been ensuring strategic and consistent routes network expansion driven by the company’s unwavering resolve to plug the gaps in the country’s air travel.
Onyema disclosed that Air Peace was working to interconnect various cities in the country and beyond to tremendously impact the country’s economic indices.
The CEO pledged to strengthen the company’s partnership with the state government and other relevant stakeholders in the state.
He assured the people and government of Kwara that the arrival of the airline would provide job opportunities for the unemployed and further boost the economic growth and development of the state.
The chief executive expressed his gratitude to the state for giving an enabling environment to operate and solicited the cooperation of stakeholders in the aviation sector for the success of the airline.
Mr Ezekiel Afolabi, the Vice President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, said the arrival of Air Peace to the state would boost tourism potentials across the 16 local government areas of the state.
The highlight of the inaugural flight ceremony was the cutting of tape and cake by the deputy governor, Mr Kayode Alabi.