Riding on the back of growing passenger movement from the Benin Airport, Aero Contractors has concluded plans to commence operations on the Benin-Lagos route, with the first flight scheduled for September 16.

The flight schedule, according to Head, Ground Operations, Aero Contractors, Peter Omata, is as follows: Lagos to Benin, Departure, 2:10pm; Arrival, 3pm. For Benin to Lagos, the schedule is: Departure, 3:30pm; Arrival, 4:20pm.

The Airport Manager, Benin Airport, Olatokunbo Arewa, said “the flight operations will run twice on a daily basis in Benin Airport as from Monday 16th September, 2019.”

According to him, “The airline wishes to start with Lagos – Benin route and before the year runs out promised to open some other new routes.”

Analysts say the incursion of the airline into Benin is on the back of reforms by the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government in Edo State, which have opened the space for investment in agriculture, industries, technology innovation, education, healthcare, infrastructure, among others.

Recall that there were speculations that the airline was billed to commence operations in Benin Airport, where official figures show passenger movement averages about 30,000 persons monthly.

Aviation expert in Benin City, Mr Leonard Adagbon, said: “The number of passengers flying in and out of Benin City is growing at a rate we never anticipated.

“The growing passenger traffic is also impacting on our hotels. More business people come to the state every week now for one thing or the other. “You will be shocked to know that all the aircraft come into this town fully booked, so I understand why Aero Contractors wants to get their share of the cake.”

Mr Adagbon further said that the recent night-landing facilities installed at the Benin Airport by the Federal and Edo State governments, is yet another impetus for airlines. “Under the Obaseki-led administration, Edo State is a huge construction site. Contractors, regulators and suppliers working on roads, electricity projects, remodelling of schools, stadium and others that are prospecting for businesses come into the state every now and then.