Turkish Airlines Tuesday made its maiden flight to Port Harcourt International Airport, making the Garden City route the 324th destination of the Airlines in 124 countries, 57th in Africa and 3rd in Nigeria, joining Lagos and Abuja routes.
The Port Harcourt route, according to the Airlines, would link India, United States of America, China and other important global destinations, expressing its commitment to improving social and economic connections in different parts of the world.
“We are recognised for our unique flight services. We will continue to grow and this is an important destination,” said Senior Vice President of Turkish Airlines, Karem Sarp, during an opening ceremony to mark the Airlines inaugural flight from Istanbul to Port Harcourt.
Also speaking at the event, the Chief Marketing Officer, Turkish Airlines, Ahmet Olmuştur,said: “We are glad to have the first ever Turkish Airline flight in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Over the years, Nigeria, being the biggest economy in Africa, has been a remarkable destination for us and that is why we are happy to be able to open additional routes for our customers in the southern part of the country.”
According to him, “We see this growth as an added opportunity to connect more cultures and people around the world, through Turkish Airlines. Our mission remains to be the leading provider of efficient, premium quality travel and on air hospitality.”
In his remarks, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said the commencement of Turkish Airlines Flights to the Port Harcourt International Airport would lead to greater economic development for the state.
“We are happy that Turkish Airlines is now operating from the Port Harcourt International Airport. This will positively impact the economy of the State.
“Outside Lagos and Abuja, Port Harcourt International Airport should be the next destination for international flights and other business opportunities. The Rivers State Government is willing to partner with key stakeholders to ensure that more Airlines operate from the state,” Wike said.
To Nigerian Ambassador to Turkey, Audu Paragalda, the new destination would improve relations between Turkey and Nigeria.
The Managing Director of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Group Captain Rabiu Yadudu, said the Port Harcourt International Airport deserves more flights, adding that his agency would continue to work towards more flights for the state.