Obaseki Inaugurates Two New Airbuses for Ibom Air

Okon Bassey in Uyo

Two Airbus A320-200 recently acquired by the Akwa Ibom State Government to boost the fleet of the state government-own Ibom Air were yesterday inaugurated by the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki.

The inauguration which took place at the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo was full of praises as Obaseki lauded the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel for his significant strides in the aviation industry.

He described Akwa Ibom as a flagship state in the country for its effort to invest, sustain and expand in a sector that Nigeria as the biggest country in Africa could not successfully run.

“Even Nigeria as the biggest country in Africa cannot run an aviation sector successfully. Ibom Air is always fully booked. Let me thank you on behalf of Nigerians. Don’t be deterred by insult, focus on your goal,” he advised

Delivering the aircraft to Ibom Air, Emmanuel said the addition was in response to the demands of the season.

Emmanuel said as a responsible administration, he has committed huge resources to the development of the aviation sector in the state in particular and Nigeria in general.

He said he had committed more funds than received from the federal government to the development of the state, even as he said he was at the verge of inaugurating a world class Terminal Building and a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility at the airport.

“We did not come to give excuses; we came to do governance. Look at what we have done in the aviation sector, if it is not more than what we have collected, then you can challenge me anywhere.

“Our terminal building there is world class in Africa, our MRO is world class. If you find one today in the entire Gulf of Guinea, tell me, I will break down this one and construct another.

“This MRO can take 24/47 800 series.  Would service eight of the CRJs that we are flying at the same time. This is the only MRO in this part of the world. People are coming, asking us to lease this MRO.

 “I invest in areas we can have return on our investment. Airbus is on us to come and use our MRO for all their regional flights. We are going to open up this place from January next year for commercial activities and we are going to earn in dollars, not naira,” he said

In a welcome remark, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Ibom Airlines Limited, Captain Mfon Udom announced plan to commence regional flight from 2023.

He said the new addition to the fleet of Ibom Air would not only expand it carrying capacity, but would also boost employment opportunity by 40 per cent.

Earlier, the Chief Operating Officer, Mr. George Uries had hinted that, “with this new capacity coming on board, we are delighted to inform our passengers that we have increased our offerings, providing more frequencies for their convenience.

“The Uyo-Lagos and Uyo-Abuja route now have three frequencies every weekday, while our passengers between Lagos and Abuja will have seven frequencies to choose from both ways, every weekday.” 

The two Airbus A320-200 aircrafts were said to have been procured from GetJet Airlines UAB (operating as GETJET), an European aircraft leasing company, on a one year wet-lease agreement. The new addition brings the fleet to seven aircraft –  five Bombardier CRJ 900 and two Airbus A320-300, covering seven destinations.

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