Akwa Ibom government shores up state’s fleet with two additional Airbus aircraft

The Akwa Ibom State Government on Sunday took delivery of two new aircraft – Airbus A220 series – a new addition to the fleet of Ibom Airline.

Ibom Air, which is wholly owned by the Akwa Ibom State Government, now has seven aircraft in its fleet.

The new aircraft are less than two years old.

The two aircraft touched down at about 3 p.m. at the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo, watched by a large crowd of Akwa Ibom residents, including Governor Udom Emmanuel and other government officials, who had gathered to celebrate their arrival.

This is the first time Ibom Air is having Airbus in its fleet. All the other aircraft in its fleet are Bombardier CRJ-900 which have fewer seats.

Airbus is bigger and has between 120 and 160 seats. Their purchase may very well signal Ibom Air’s plan to go regional in its operation.

“Today marks a major milestone in the history of aviation development not only for Akwa Ibom State but in this country.

“Never in the history of this nation has a state established and owned a successful business Airline.

“Never in the whole continent of Africa,” the state governor, Mr Emmanuel said, while receiving the new aircrafts.

Mr Emmanuel told his guests, including members of the PDP Governor’s Forum, who were in the state for a meeting, that God knew there would come a time Nigeria would be in despair that Akwa Ibom would raise the hope of the country.

The Akwa Ibom government has made huge investments in the aviation industry since Mr Emmanuel became the governor in 2015.

Apart from investments in Ibom Air, the runway at the Victor Attah International Airport has been expanded to receive international flights.

There is also an ongoing construction of the International terminal building and Maintenance Repairs and Overhaul Facility (MRO), among others.

The government of Gambia recently reached out to Mr Emmanuel on the possibility of Ibom Air flying to Gambia and other West African countries.

Also, the Bayelsa State Government in May opened discussions with the Akwa Ibom government on the use of Ibom Air to start commercial flights at the Bayelsa State International Airport.

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