By Sunday Bassey, Uyo/ Solomon Asowata, Lagos
June 6, 2019
Ibom Air, the first commercial airline to be owned and operated by a state government in Nigeria and Africa, will begin full commercial operations on June 7, an official said.
Mr Ekerete Udoh, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Emmanuel, made this known in a statement on Thursday.
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 aircrafts in its fleet (Bombardier CRJ 900) have the distinction of being relatively new, all three, under 10 years old,” 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 Gov. Udom Emmanuel.
“The governor seems determined to break conventional wisdom concerning things long thought to be impossible to achieve,” he said, noting that Gov. Emmanuel’s avowed determination to open the three gateways to industrialization – land, sea and air appears to be on course.
Ibom Airline represents one of the signature projects of Gov. Emmanuel’s First Term and was launched on Feb. 20th with three aircrafts by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that Ibom Air has secured its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
Adurogboye said that the airline formally obtained the AOC from the NCAA on June 6.
An AOC is the approval granted by a national aviation authority (NAA) to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes.
This requires the operator to have personnel, assets and systems in place to ensure the safety of its employees and the general public.
A reliable source within the airline told NAN on condition of anonymity that the state government was ecstatic about the development.
“We are starting with flights on Uyo – Lagos and Uyo-Abuja routes and everybody is delighted,” the source said.
The airline has three Bombardier CRJ-900LR (CL-600.2D24) aircraft with registration numbers C-FWKZ, C-FWNL and C-FWNK.
The first of the aircraft landed at the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo on Feb. 20.
It was received by Gov. Udom Emmanuel and other eminent personalities in the state.