The Southeast is one of the most economically strong regions in the whole federation. Home to some of the biggest marketplaces, manufacturing hubs, and giants in trade and investments, the Southeast’s importance in the commerce of not just Nigeria but in West Africa. But the infrastructures in the Southeast have not always marched its industry. With just two running airports, at the end of 2020, serving more than 30 million people and a 50 billion-dollar economy, the Southeast is grossly underserved. Today, we can count three of them with a fourth under construction. Here are all working Southeast airports ranked.
Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu
Located in Emene, outside of Enugu city in Enugu State, this airport is 45 years old. The airport is used to connect eastern cities such as Abakaliki, Awka, Onitsha, Nnewi, Afikpo, Okigwe, Nsukka, Orlu, Idah, Otukpo, Ogoja, etc. The airport is named after the First Governor-General of the old Eastern Region, the Late RH Sir Akanu Ibiam an elder statesman who hailed from Afikpo in Ebonyi State.
The Enugu airport was built in the colonial era as an aerodrome. It was later commissioned as a full-fledged airport on October 22, 1976, by the late Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua who was the then second in command to General Olusegun Obasanjo.
The airport was closed down by FAAN 2010 for major renovations which preceded it being accredited as an international airport. This airport is one of the five international airports in the country and operated by FAAN, on behalf of the Federal Government. It was also under maintenance for the greater part of 2020,it resumed operations in August 2020.
Airlines operating at Akanu Ibiam airport include
United Nigeria airline
The IATA code for the airport is ENU.
Everyday Swiftair airline 411 to Abuja is the first flight that departs from Enugu airport at 9:00 AM, followed by Swiftair airline 411 to Abuja at 9:10 AM. Whereas Lauda Air airline 302 to Lagos is the last flight that departs from Enugu airport at 2:20 PM. Enugu to Addis Ababa is also a daily flight.
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Of all the airports in south east, this is the most efficient, on-time service, ease of booking, more airlines operating, more availability of flights among other attributes.
It is ranked top five out of all airports in the country, it has no international ranking yet.
Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri
Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport (IATA: QOW, ICAO: DNIM), also known as Imo State Airport, serves Owerri, the capital city of Imo State in southeastern Nigeria.
Other cities served by the airport are, the commercial city of Onitsha, automobile and manufacturing city of Nnewi in Anambra State, the industrial hub of Aba, Umuahia and Arochukwu in Abia State. Others are Okigwe, Oguta, and Orlu business districts in Imo State. The airport also serves some parts of Akwa Ibom and Cross River States in the South-South part of Nigeria.
The Airport is situated at Ngor Okpola Local Government Area pm a piece of land bounded by three communities; Umuohiagu, Obiangwu, and Logara, Imo State.
The airport is named in honor of a former governor and politician-philanthropist, the late Chief Sam Mbakwe of Imo State. It is the first state-government-built airport. The funding of the airport was by contributions and levies paid by Imo indigenes.
Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri commenced operation in 1994 under the regime of the former Military Administrator of Imo State, Navy Captain J.N. Aneke.
The Airport was built by the Imo State Government and handed over to the Federal Government of Nigeria under the management of FAAN.
United Nigeria airline
It is the second-ranked airport in the south east, and the 13th ranked in the country out of all airports in the country. It does not have an international ranking yet.
Anambra State Airport.
Anambra State under the governorship of Chief Dr. Willie Obiano launched the building of the Umuleri Cargo Airport project on 11 April 2017, scheduled to commence operations in April 2021
The airline is estimated to worth 2 billion dollars upon completion.
It is situated at Umuleri, Oyo Local Government Area, and was built in a partnership between the Anambra State Government, Orient Petroleum Resources and Elite International Investments.
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Elite International Investments will provide all funds under a build, operate, manage and transfer agreement. Anambra Airport City Infrastructure Limited allocated a 75% equity stake to Elite International Investments, 20% to Orient Petroleum Resources Limited and 5% to the State Government.
The first commercial plane is scheduled to land at Anambra International Cargo/Passenger Airport on April 30, 2021, to test-run the facilities at the airport.
The airport is built to serve the cities of Onitsha, Awka, Asaba, Ekwulobia, Ihiala, Kogi State, and others.
Its IATA is projected to be ANS. It has no ranking yet, but it is expected to overtake the many airports most of which are in sorry states in Nigeria in ranking within a couple of years.
The fourth airport
In February 2021, the government of Ebonyi State headed by Dave Umahi announced that they have begun the constrictionof an International Airport to be situated in Ezza. The airport is expected to be finished in 2023 and then we would update this post. Surely.
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