Nearly 18 months after the airport was shut in the wake of a daring Boko Haram raid, commercial flights have resumed into the city of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, despite recent bombings.
A Med-View Airline flight with 82 passengers on board, including the Borno State governor Kashim Shettima, touched down at about 2:00 pm today.
Nigeria’s military announced the re-opening of the facility last month. It has a base at the airport.
The airport was shut in December 2013 after a daring assault by hundreds of militant fighters that saw them burn military aircraft on the tarmac and seize a cache of weapons.
Med-View managing director Muneer Bankole said the domestic carrier would initially operate four flights a week to Maiduguri, building up to a regular daily service.
Bankole said he was hopeful the Boko Haram insurgency would not affect operations.
“Allah is the owner of security. We are all at the mercy of Allah. We pray for our brothers… that they should know that peace is the solution,” he told reporters.
Travel into and out of Maiduguri had been fraught with danger after the airport was closed, as travelers were forced to undertake dangerous trips by road through Boko Haram-held territory.
Only military planes and emergency personnel have been allowed to use the airport in the last 18 months.