The Ibom Air maiden commercial flight has departed Uyo for Abuja on Friday, June 7, Straightnews has gathered.
The Ibom Air launched on February 20, 2019 with three aircraft by the immediate past Senate President, Bukola Sarak is the first commercial airline owned and operated by Akwa Ibom state government in Nigeria and Africa.
The aircraft which started boarding of passengers at about 11 a.m. left Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at 11.55 a.m.
The aircraft conveying top government functionaries and passengers may land Abuja in more than one hour.
Flagging off the maiden flight, Governor Udom Emmanuel thanked Akwa Ibom for their resilience leading to the successful operation and commencement of flights.
Emmanuel who was represented by Mr. Moses Ekpo, the state Deputy Governor thanked the Federal Government for granting operational licence to the Ibom Air, hoping that the airline would serve as a major revenue earner to the state.
The Chairman of Ibom Air, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga lauded the state government for commencing the airline business and urged the staffers to be hard working to justify their employment.
Earlier, Captain Mfon Udom, the technical consultant of Ibom Air, had thanked the state governor for floating the airline, assuring of the staffers’ cooperation to sustain the business.
Ibom Air was given the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s Air Operator Certificate to begin commercial flight services in Lagos, on Thursday, June 6.
“All three aircraft were ferried into Nigeria from Canada on their Canadian registration, which is normal, for insurance purposes. But as soon as they arrived in Nigeria, they were de-registered from Canada and assumed their Nigerian registration 5N-BWK, 5N-BWL and 5N-BWM respectively, which they have borne until today,” the airline, in a statement on its website on Thursday, said.
Thereafter, Ekerete Udoh, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Udom Emmanuel, in a statement on Thursday, announced that the Ibom Air would begin commercial operations on Friday.
Udoh said that the airline, having fulfilled all the regulatory conditions and requirements, was certified fit to commence commercial operations, leading to the maiden flight billed for tomorrow, June 7th.
“It will maintain regular daily flights to both Lagos (MMA2) and Abuja respectively.
“The aircraft in its fleet (Bombardier CRJ 900) have the distinction of being relatively new, all three, under 10 years old,” Mr Udoh said.
He said the commencement of the commercial operations by Ibom Air had been celebrated by Akwa Ibomites and other Nigerians as a testament to the visionary leadership of Mr Emmanuel.
“The governor who seems determined to break conventional wisdom concerning things long thought to be impossible to achieve,” he said.
He noted that the development was Governor Emmanuel’s avowed determination to open the three gateways to industrialisation- land, sea and air appears to be on course.