RIVERS State Governor, Nyeesom Wike has commended the entry of Ibom Air into the state and says the move will increase business activities, boost trade and tourism and by extension the economy of the state.
Wike made this known at the inaugural flight of the airline to the state and commended the choice of aircraft, the Airbus A220-300 deployed by the carrier.
According to nigerianflightdeck.com, the governor was represented by Commissioner of Transportation, Barrister Some Ginah who said the aircraft was apt as flights to and from the garden state are usually fully booked.
Ibom Air touched down at the Port Harcourt Airport Omaha at 11:10am welcomed by the water canon salute of the FAAN fire service.
Ginah said,”Ibom Air will actually increase commercial activities in Rivers State because it is going to make the business economy thrive. Most times when you get to the airport other airlines are not available, but with Boom Air coming to Rivers you know you have an alternative.
” For now they are starting with one flight daily but I am sure by the time they have regular flights it will increase. Port Harcourt is a business hub and I want to assure Ibom Air we have enough passengers for them to do business in Port Harcourt. It is a welcome development, it is going to boost the economy of the state because more people will come to Rivers and this will ease transportation.”
Also speaking, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ibom Air, Mr. George Uriesi said deployment of the A220-300 for Port Harcourt is apt because the state has the capacity.
According to him, the inaugural flight to Port Harcourt was 90% load capacity and so is the return flight.
” Port Harcourt has capacity we believe, first flight it was about 90% capacity and the return flight is the same thing. We expected that Port Harcourt would provide the kind of load factor to justify the use of this aircraft type and we need it to create more capacity for port Harcourt passengers
On planned routes before the year’s end, Mr. Uriesi said that the airline was keenly looking at one of its two destination being a Northern city but stated that that would benefit determined by the numbers.
“We have four or five targets now but the decision on where we go is always based on numbers so it is very likely that one of the destination would be a northern one,” he explained.
He went on to assure, “We want to take this opportunity to assure our passengers that safety and customer satisfaction will remain at the center of Ibom Air’s operations, and we will continue to work hard to meet and exceed your expectations, so that you continue to see us as your airline of first choice”.
At the inaugural flight which highlighted Gospel song artist and saxophonist,Nathaniel Bassey and Dance Choreographer, Kaffy with her team treating passengers to melodies and incredible dance moves, also had MD/CEO Zia Ventures Nigeria Limited,Mr. Greg Omeifi.
Other notable dignitaries were the Regional Manager FAAN, Mr. Feli Akinbinu, Representatives of the Department of State security, executive members of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA) and National Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), Organiser AKWAABA Travel Market and Publisher ATQ, Mr. Ikechi Uko among other dignitaries.