Ibom Air has ordered ten all-new A220 aircraft with Airbus, at the ongoing Dubai Air show.
The Akwa Ibom owned airline reached an agreement with Airbus at the purpose built DWC event arena in Dubai.
The company announced that the Chief Executive Officer of Ibom Air, Mr Mfon Udom and Chief Commercial Officer of Airbus, Mr Christian Scherer have signed the deal.
Ibom Air said in a statement that the purchase was to speed up its expansion drive across Nigeria and other African countries.
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 witnessed the signing of the deal.
Ibom Air said, “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 airline said the aircraft are all-new with the capacity of 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.
Commenting on the deal, the Akwa Ibom state governor said, “The A220 will allow us 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.”
Also, the CEO of Ibom Air said, “We are pleased with the steep growth we have achieved in the two (2) years and five (5) months since we commenced operations, a growth mainly driven by the massive embrace of our product and brand by the Nigerian domestic flying public.
“As we contemplated the next phase of our expansion strategy, we gave consideration and opted to procure two (2) A220s on a one-year wet lease, in order to try out the aircraft to ensure it was fit for the purposes of our business.”