Lufthansa Airlines has relocated its flight operations to the new terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
It is the first European airline to do so since the inauguration of the terminal in December 2018.
The flight, which landed at 5:30 p.m., had 110 passengers and 4 crew members on board the Air bus 300-200 series.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has issued a March 31 deadline to all foreign airlines to relocate their operations to the new terminal.
Mr Mahmud Sani, FAAN’s Regional General Manager, North Central and Abuja Airport Manager, said that it was in view of the ultimatum recently issued to airlines that made Lufthansa to move its operations to the terminal.
Sani said that other international carriers were already making preparations to relocate to the terminal before the expiration of the ultimatum.
“For now we have six international airlines here and the rest six are coming in between now and March 31.
“We have Lufthansa today, Ethiopian Airlines is on, we have Emirate, Air Côte d’viore, Asky and Air Peace.”
Sani disclosed that the authority had provided free trolley for passenger in the new terminal, adding that free wheel chairs would also be provided for passengers with disability.
He also gave the assurance that FAAN had a strong team in Abuja Airport that would ensure adequate maintenance of the new facility.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said the new terminal was a manifestation of the government’s commitment to the development of the country.
Ngige, who was on the flight from Geneva, said he travelled to attend the International Labour Organization (ILO) Governing Board Meeting.
He urged FAAN to continue to maintain the standard and not relapse to what Nigerins use to know in the airports.
“We have done the needful and we have emulated the good part of the world, we have joined them because this is what we see in Geneva and Frankfurt and so on.
“We have it now in Nigeria and so it is for us to maintain it,” he said.
Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, Head of Service of the Federation, also said the new terminal showed what President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had been doing to bring Nigeria up to the level of developed nations.
She said the mode of operations on arrival at the terminal such as medical screening camera and immigration were impressive.
“In this age of Ebola and other viruses, the screening is very important to check those that are coming in to detect if they are carrying any virus.
“This is an international standard and I know that the airport authority is going to maintain it,” she said.
Mr Charles Okoh, another passenger on board from Vienna, Austria, commended FAAN and other agencies of government that provide services at the airport.
According to him, there is absolute professionalism in the way all the agencies handle things on arrivals.
“I am also impressed with the level of cleanliness because when I arrived, the first thing I did was to go into the convenience and it was clean.
“I am happy to know that our country has a worthy airport,” he said.