Nigeria’s leading domestic operator, Arik Air, Wednesday, March 5, 2008, made a grand entry into Sokoto, the Seat of The Caliphate, as the airline began scheduled service to the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto.
Arik Air’s inaugural flight to Sokoto which originated from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, touched down at the Sultan Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto at midday.
On hand to welcome the airline to Sokoto was the state governor, Alhaji Aliyu Magatakarda Wamako who thanked the management of Arik for the decision to begin scheduled flights into Sokoto.
Speaking at a short airport reception, Governor Wamako said the government and people of Sokoto state were full of joy for the flight which will be a daily schedule between Abuja and Sokoto.
“On our part, we’ll do whatever we can to make the route the most profitable for Arik,” Governor Wamako stressed.
Arik Air Managing Director, Michael McTighe, thanked the Governor for his support and encouragement, promising that the airline would always be on time in Sokoto.
“I am promising you that we will not desert this route. We’ve come to stay in Sokoto and we will always deliver on our promise to be regular and on time,” McTighe told the governor after which he led Governor Wamako to inspect the airline’s Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft which has been dedicated to the route.
After the airport reception, the Arik crew led by the Managing Director moved to the Sultan’s palace for royal blessing.
Speaking while welcoming the Arik team, Sultan Sa’ad Abubakar III said he was delighted to receive Arik Air on its maiden flight and prayed for the continued success of the airline on the route.
The Sultan said it was a thing of joy that Sokoto people now have another choice of airline which will be flying daily out of the airport.
He charged Arik Air not to lose hope in times of poor sales as he prayed for 100 per cent smooth operations in and out of Sokoto.
Speaking earlier, McTighe congratulated the Sultan on his recent national honour. He said the airline was proud to be in Sokoto and promised to deliver good service to the people of the state.
He informed the Sultan that Arik would be flying into Sokoto daily with its brand new Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft.
The Managing Director solicited the Sultan’s guidance and prayer for Arik Air to operate safely.