The Governor, of Bauchi State, Mohammed Abubakar has said the commencement of Arik Air flights to the state would in no small way boost tourism development potential of Bauchi. He said Arik’s presence in Bauchi the Palace of Tourism remains a fantastic development that would be mutually beneficial. Arik is presently under the management of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
Arik Air today became the first airline to commence operations into Bauchi State after its Bombardier CRJ-900 touched down at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Belawa International Airport by 12.40pm in Bauchi. The governor who spoke on his way to Abuja onboard the flight stated that it was going to partner the airline and expressed optimism that the airline would break even on the route within a short time.
He said, ”Well it’s a fantastic development as far as we are concerned and there is no way you can be able to develop tourism without having steady flights in the state and tourism is one of the three major areas of comparative advantage we have chosen for ourselves and a government. So out rightly the coming of Arik is a fantastic development in the right direction and we assure Arik that we will collaborate with the airline. I am very confident that within a short period of time. The route will take root if you like. It will take care of itself.”
On what the state has done to develop tourism, the governor said that it had gone far in developing the Yankari Game reserve to be a world-class resort facility and that seeing is believing. Again he said,”I’d invite you to come to Yankari Game Reserve and see what is there. But from day one when I took over, I have had a relationship with Yankari Game Reserve. While I was growing up in the service of Bauchi State, I had a two-year stint with the state as legal adviser to the Yankari Game Reserve.
Also speaking at the event, Associate Vice President, Abuja and Regional Domestic North Manager, Hamzat Bukar expressed optimism that there will be great and rapid development in the route especially due to its tourism imperative. He said the airline had a synergy with the state government to showcase the state’s tourism.
According to him, Bauchi will potentially become one, if not the most profitable route in a few years to come and Arik, he stated, is poised to make that a reality with its On Time Performance (OTP) and professionalism of its crew. “In Every business you look at the potentials. When we started Gombe, we started with few passengers today we have been there for nine years. The fact that Bauchi has opened up gives travellers from Jos, Maiduguri, Yobe and even Bauchi indigenes options. In the past you would travel an hour to Jos to connect Lagos from Bauchi.” All that stress, he said is now history.