Ibom Air, the indigenous airline of the Akwa Ibom State Government of Nigeria, has placed an order for ten (10) A220 aircraft with Airbus, at the ongoing Dubai Air show, taking place at the purpose built DWC event arena in Dubai.
According to the press release by the airline’s Group Manager Marketing and Communication, Annie Essienette, the agreement, which was signed Tuesday by the Chief Executive Officer of Ibom Air, Mr Mfon Udom and Chief Commercial Officer of Airbus, Mr Christian Scherer, was done in the presence of His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Uko Udom, SAN, and the Chairman of Ibom Air, Mr Imoabasi Jacob who led the Ibom Air team, which also included the airline’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr George Uriesi, the Group Manager Marketing and communication, Mrs Aniekan Essienette and the Group Manager Corporate Services, Mrs Imelda Aba.
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 (2) A220s for a year, to test the suitability of the aircraft for their needs.
Within 6 months of this process, the airline was able to validate the A220 as the right choice for its domestic and regional aspirations.
The order of the ten (10) Airbus A220 is in line with the airline’s aggressive growth plan, which will see it expanding its footprint into new domestic routes as well as regional routes covering West and Central Africa in the immediate future.
The first phase of this expansion is set to cover cities like Malabo, Douala, Libreville, Kinshasa, Accra, Abidjan, Freetown, Banjul and Dakar.
Ultimately the airline intends to operate throughout the continent of Africa.
The all-new A220 is purpose built for efficiency, targeting the 100-150 seat market. It burns 20% 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 unrivalled value proposition.
His Excellency, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State in his remarks stated “earlier in the year, we gathered to welcome the first Airbus into our fleet, and I must say that we are proud to be the first airline to order the all-new Airbus A220 in Nigeria. The A220 will allow us to increase the number of passengers into Akwa Ibom, thus bringing more first-time visitors and business travellers 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,” he said.