- A New Akwa Ibom: Ibom Air Starts Flight Operations
The Governor of Akwa Ibom, His Excellency Udom Emmanuel has kept true to his promise to transform the state into a major economic hub in Africa. The commencement of the Akwa Ibom state-owned airline “IBOM AIR” is a round peg in a round hole towards achieving and actualizing this promise.
The airline obtained its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and started operations on 7th of June 2019 with inaugural flights to Lagos and Abuja, from the Akwa Ibom state capital Uyo.
The airline market niche is proposed to be structured after “Comair” an airline based in South Africa that operates scheduled services on domestic routes as a British Airways franchisee.
According to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the airline, Mr. George Uriesi, the airline would carve out a niche market with efficient service, on-time departure and high level of safety in its operations.
“We don’t have any ambition for long haul at all. We will settle in the country and after a while we will go into the region. We want to model ourselves around Comair of South Africa. They have been in existence for about 75 years.”
He also disclosed that Ibom Air is privately run airline although owned by the Akwa Ibom state government, adding that the management of the domestic carrier has invested heavily on maintenance.
The governor is however thrilled with this new development in the state and also expressed appreciation to the regulatory agencies for working with the state to achieve the feat and appealed to opposition political parties to appreciate the development.
He said “Investors will continue to flock into our state, given the ease of travelling; the launch of this airline will engender the peace we enjoy and the hospitality of our people. We are all winners in this.”
He’s of the opinion that development of the state at large should be separated from politics. Akwa Ibom is for all and the lunch of Ibom Air is a huge achievement for everyone irrespective of the political parties of an individual.
“When we board these aircraft to either Lagos or Abuja and back to Uyo, the cabin crew will not ask you whether you are a member of the People’s Democratic Party or the All Progressives Congress; rather, you will be greeted and be told ‘welcome on board’ as a proud son or daughter of Akwa Ibom State,” he said.