The Ibom Air, an indigenous airline owned by the Akwa Ibom State Government, has placed an order for 10 A220 aircraft with Airbus.
The Group Manager Marketing and Communication of Ibom Air, Mrs Aniekan Essienette, said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Uyo on Tuesday.
Essienette said deliveries of the aircraft to Ibom Air would commence in the first quarter of 2023.
“The agreement was signed today by the Chief Executive Officer of Ibom Air, Mr Mfon Udom and Chief Commercial Officer of Airbus, Mr Christian Scherer in the presence of His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, and other dignitaries.
“Working in collaboration with the Airbus team, Ibom Air, took an innovative approach to making the choice of the A220.
“The airline started by wet-leasing two A220s for a year to test the suitability of the aircraft for their needs.
“Within six months of this process, the airline was able to validate the A220 as the right choice for its domestic and regional aspirations,” she said.
Essienette said the order for the 10 Airbus A220 was in line with the company’s aggressive growth plan aimed at expanding its footprint into new domestic routes as well as regional routes.
“The first phase of this expansion is set to cover cities like Malabo, Douala, Libreville, Kinshasa, Accra, Abidjan, Freetown, Banjul and Dakar.
“The all-new A220 is purpose built for efficiency, targeting the 100-150 seat market.
“It burns 20 per cent lower fuel per seat compared to previous generation aircraft and flies to a range of up to 3,400 nm (6,297 km), offering performance similar to larger, single-aisle aircraft.
“The A220s combination of a superior cabin product and low operating costs are a perfect fit for the airline’s network growth strategy and will help Ibom Air offer its customers an unrivaled value proposition,” she added.
Essienette said that the A220 would enable the company to increase the number of passengers into Akwa Ibom, thus bringing more first-time visitors and business travelers to the state.
“These efforts reflect our commitment to enabling local commerce and industry, in line with the state’s economic growth strategy.
“With this latest acquisition, Ibom Air is better positioned to contribute to driving long-term economic growth for Akwa Ibom State.
“Ibom Air’s giant leap as evidenced by this bold step, is a validation of the aviation development pillar of our completion agenda which is on course,” she said.
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