Eighteen months after the Akwa Ibom State owned carrier, Ibom Air made a bold entrance into Nigeria’s aviation sector, the start-up airline has shown impressive operational capability and looking to expand its route network in the country in 2021.
The airline which started its operation in 7th of June 2019 with three Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft has increased its fleet to five CRJ 900 aircraft and has quickly warmed its way into the hearts of air travellers in the country with exceptional service delivery in the industry.
Group Manager Marketing and communication, Ibom Air, Mrs Aniekan Essienette who reel out the airline’s scorecard while delivering a speech at the correspondents’ Chapel Uyo said one of the reasons Ibom Air exist is first to operate as a key vehicle for the economic development and growth of Akwa Ibom State just like Ethiopian airlines and Emirates Airlines.
She stated that the airline’s operation has had direct and indirect impact in the improvement of the livelihood and businesses of Akwa Ibom indigenes noting the Ibom Air had generated over a billion naira in its first year of operation.
she added that the airlines has been able to provide employment for indigenes both low, entry level and senior positions and addition to proving opportunities for very highly skilled aviation professions of Piloting, Cabin Crew and Aircraft Maintenance Engineering
She said: “Let me affirm to you all that the reason Ibom Air exists is first as a key vehicle for the economic development and growth of Akwa Ibom State. We want to be to Akwa Ibom State, what Emirates Airlines is to Dubai and what Ethiopian Airlines is to Ethiopia. I believe we can achieve this with your continued support and those of the good people of Akwa Ibom state.
“In line with this aspiration, just in 2019 alone (our first year of operation), Ibom Air’s direct and indirect impact on Akwa Ibom’s livelihood and businesses amounted to over One Billion Naira. This is in addition to the employment of indigenes of Akwa Ibom not just in low and entry level to senior positions, but in the very highly skilled aviation professions of Piloting, Cabin Crew and Aircraft Maintenance Engineering. As a matter of fact, 17 young indigenous trainee maintenance engineers have qualified or are on the verge of being qualified as Bombardier CRJ 900 Aircraft Engineers.
“I want to use this opportunity to dispel the fears around Ibom Air’s sustainability, especially being a state owned Airline. I will call your attention to the fact that many successful Airlines globally are state owned. Ethiopian Airlines has been in existence for almost a century, with 64 straight years of profitability as a state-owned Airline and a major foreign exchange earner for Ethiopia. As you know without Emirates Airlines, there can hardly be Dubai today and of course this is solely owned by the Emirate of Dubai.
“At Ibom Air, we prefer to align ourselves with these internationally acknowledged success models that have stood the test of time. Our aim is to grow Ibom Air to such similar Global acclaim.
“Since the 7th of June 2019 when Ibom Air commenced operations as a bold new idea with 3 Aircraft, now you can say that we are the “new kid on the block” and the whole nation has stood up and taken notice of what we have brought to the table. 18 months down the line, Ibom Air currently boasts a fleet of five bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft (the youngest airline fleet in the country) and currently covers 5 destinations: Uyo, Lagos, Abuja, Calabar and Enugu, with an unmatched record of schedule reliability and on-time departure performance.
“In 2021, we shall be expanding to other routes which we would announce in due course.
“What started as idea of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel, has grown to be a source of pride to not just Akwa Ibom State, but indeed the nation at large, which is a testament to the belief that with dogged determination and a firm commitment to doing the right things, the reward is certainly excellent outcomes. Ibom Air remains the first and only state-owned Airline in the country, venturing into uncharted territory and daring to make a success of it.”
Mrs Aniekan further stated that “Ibom Air’s strategy and value proposition is three pronged- schedule reliability, on time departures and excellent service. We can proudly say today that we have lived up to this approach and to date, we are delivering 99% schedule reliability and 99% on-time performance.
We are also constantly looking for innovative ways to serve and retain our customers. To this end, we have recently introduced our In-flight magazine, the Fulcrum, for our passengers’ reading pleasure onboard. We have more initiatives in the works for the near future.
My presence here today is to assure you all that Ibom Air is positioned for growth and therefore we are enhancing our visibility, nationally and regionally.
Our approach to this includes:
• Deliberate and targeted advertising
• Focus on corporate social responsibility.
• Deeper engagement with the media
• Value added services as demonstrated with the launch of our in-flight magazine
• Key Stakeholder engagements such as me being here today
It is my hope that you will come on this journey with us.