Ibom Air is the leading brand in the Nigerian aviation industry – Gov Umo Eno
Akwa Ibom State government has taken delivery of a brand new Airbus A220-300 ordered by its wholly-owned airline, Ibom Air.
In a ceremony held at the Victor Attah International Airport, the State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno noted that the event was a celebration of vision, passion for professionalism and effective service delivery.
He added that the journey of the state-owned airline started four years ago with two CRJ 900 Bombardier aircrafts in its fleet.
The Governor said Ibom Air has steadily recorded progress and has became the most preferred airline for travelers across the country.
According to him, “At the Dubai Airshow in November 2021, the State Government, led by the visioner of this project and my worthy predecessor, the immediate past Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, CON, signed a contract for the purchase of ten brand new Airbus A200-300 series. Today, ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here to welcome to the fleet of Ibom Air, the first of those ten Airbus aircrafts that we had ordered.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank our past leaders for the various works they did to move our dear state from its humble beginnings 36 years ago, at its creation to today, where we are easily ranked as a subnational with the best road network and other infrastructural amenities in the nation.
“Let me particularly celebrate and thank my worthy predecessor for his vision in conceptualizing and breathing life into this pride of Akwa Ibom and pride of Nigeria in the aviation industry, Ibom Air.
“When this idea was first announced, the usual naysayers had dismissed it as a flash of wishful thinking. But as he always would say: The answer to doubters is success that shocks and confounds.
“Today, Ibom Air is the leading brand in the Nigerian aviation industry, a mere four years plus after it started commercial operations,” he added.
Governor Eno who is a seasoned entrepreneur and passionate about furthering development in the State through investments, assured everyone that government will continue to support Ibom Air to achieve the desired benefits for the State.
He said, “my administration is dedicated to supporting the giant strides the airline has made. We have kept faith with all previous financial obligations entered into, with Airbus, by the immediate past administration and the result of that, is the event we are witnessing today.
“Since we came on board, we have provided the funds for the training of pilots and the deepening of the already first- class Cabin services of the airline.
“We have done extensive work on the airside perimeter fencing of the airport, and the continuous funding of the 8.5 km Airside Patrol Road, which is now ready for commissioning.
“We have equally continued the funding of the parallel Taxiway Rapid Exit, the Apron Construction, International Terminal Building, the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility, the VIP Car Park, Access Road into the Terminal Building and the underground drain alongside the CCTV Control,” the Governor said.
He appreciated President Bola Tinubu,
Minister of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, all past governors in the State as well as the management and staff of Ibom Air for their respective support and contributions to the Akwa Ibom project.
In his remarks, former Governor and progenitor of aviation investment in the State, Obong Victor Attah applauded his successors for sustaining and furthering his vision in the industry.
He made reference to the Scripture in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow,” saying that it was a true reflection of the trajectory of the state.
Obong Attah whom the Airport is rightly named after, expressed delight with the continuous development trend and urged all the actors in the sector not to relent but keep faith and double their efforts for more success stories.
Earlier, the MD/CEO of Ibom Air, Captain Mfon Udom noted that the process of acquiring the Brand New Airbus A220-300 started in 2020, and was signed in 2021.
He noted that though the cost of acquiring the Brand New Airbus A220-300 could afford five of the regular aircraft used around the country, there are numerous advantages especially, fuel economy, eco-friendly design and ability to be used for both long and short haul flights.
In their separate remarks, the Chairman of Ibom Air, Pastor ImoAbasi Jacob and the Chairman, Ibom Airport Developement Company Limited (IADCL), Dr. Iniobong Essien expressed delight at the laudable progress recorded in the state’s aviation sector, and assured that investments in the sector will continue to be judiciously managed to yield the desired dividends for the State.
Highpoints of the event were the dedication of the brand new Airbus A220-300 and the tape cutting ceremony.