The Akwa Ibom State Government-owned airline, Ibom Air, has received the first of 10 new Airbus A220-300 aircraft it ordered from the European manufacturer, Airbus.
The first delivery came two years after the airline sealed a deal with Airbus at the Dubai Airshow in November 2021.
In a statement announcing the delivery on Friday, the company’s Group Manager, Marketing and Communication, Aniekan Essienette, said the handover was done at Airbus’ Mirabel facility in Canada.
The ceremony was attended by top officials of the airline, including its CEO, Mfon Udom. The immediate-past governor of the state, Udom Emmanuel, whose tenure the company was established under, was also in attendance.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, the airline’s CEO, Mr. Udom, said, “The introduction of the Airbus A220-300 to our fleet is a game-changing leap forward for Ibom Air. The decision to invest in a fleet of highly efficient brand-new aircraft to power our growth plans underscores our determination to offer no less than world-class airline services to our valued customers.”
Ibom Air, which currently has seven aircraft (five Bombardier CR900 and two Airbus A220-300) in its fleet, flies 11 routes spanning six cities in the country, including the nation’s capital, Abuja, and Nigeria’s commercial cities, Lagos, Enugu, and Port Harcourt.
The airline, which started commercial operations in 2019, has become one of the most highly rated in Nigeria’s airspace, garnering several awards, including best airline of the year for three consecutive years: 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Earlier in the year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) awarded the airline a safety certification.
As part of its expansion drive, the airline launched its first African sub-regional flight in October, touching down in the West African country of Ghana.
With the arrival of the new aircraft, the airline is expected to expand its operations to other West and Central African countries.
The Akwa Ibom State Government, as part of the efforts for the smooth take-off of Ibom Air’s international flight operations, commissioned on May 28 an International Terminal, Maintenance, Repairs, and Overhaul (MRO) facility, a new taxiway, and an apron extension to cater for the anticipated influx of people at the airline hub, Victor Attah International Airport in Uyo.