JOE EFFIONG, UYO
The Group Manager, Marketing and Communications, Ibom Air, Mrs Aniekan Essienette has confirmed that the airline is solely the property of Akwa Ibom State government registered as a limited liability company.
Speaking while interacting with members of the Correspondents Chapel of the NUJ, in IUyo on Thursday, Essientte,said as a limited liability company, Ibom Air thus has the powers to prospect for funds to boost its operations outside the state government covers,
She said the airline would soon expand its routes to seven African countries such as Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Liberia, Garbon, and Gambia.
According to her, the regional flights will begin in two months time and that the Vice President of Gambia had already visited the airline and requested that it starts a regional flight to that country.
She said the airline has already mapped out plans for the regional routes but noted that before the regional flights begin, the airline must have the capacity to meet its local demands.
“We are focused on one thing, to grow this airline and put Akwa Ibom on the pedestal. We are going to expand regionally. We tell everyone that cares to listen that Ibom Air is a world class African regional airline, meaning that, as much as we want to go international, we want to first of all conquer the Africa territory.
“However, when we are stable, nothing stops us from interlining with international airlines. Every airline that is worth its salt out there is asking to interline with Ibom Airline, meaning that they would bring traffic to us. So, theoretically, you can buy an Ibom Air ticket with Delta Airline and it would take you all the way to the US and back. It is just like Ibom Air operated by Delta.
“But for us, we want to conquer the African territory and this year alone, we want to go to seven African countries: Ghana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Liberia, Garbon, and Gambia.
“Right now, we are in the process of tidying up all the international agreements, and once that is done, we would start going to our region,” she stated.
Essienette mentioned that Ibom Air has seven planes in its fleet, five CJ900 and two airbuses.