Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has promised to transform the state into an aviation hub in the West African subregion.
He made the vow while announcing the arrival of the latest Bombardier CRJ900 recently acquired by the state owned airline – Ibom Air. He further disclosed that contracts have been mobilized to commence the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul, MRO, facility and other upgrade works at the Victor Attah International Airport to attain this status before he leaves office.
He assured that the new terminal is designed to meet the highest intelligence, smart standard and will match any of the internationally ranked terminals when completed.
The new Bombardier CRJ900, with registration number 5N-BXO is the fifth aircraft to the fleet of the Akwa Ibom State-owned airline, Ibom Air.
The State Governor expressed delight for the addition and thanked God that while others are battling with the doomsday occasioned by the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Akwa Ibom people are celebrating expansion in their aviation business.
On behalf of the government and people of Akwa Ibom State, including those in the diaspora, we appreciate God and everyone who has contributed in making this possible and we look toward to many more. ”We welcome the latest in our fleet, registration number 5N-BXO, CoVID-19 compliant”, the Governor said.
He commended the management and staff of Ibom Air for their commitment and show of professionalism, as he announced the assumption of duty of Ibom Air’s first female pilot, Captain Ruth Adebanwo, as pilot of the new aircraft.
“I want to most sincerely register my appreciation to the management team of Ibom Air. They’ve actually made us proud. I really want to thank them for their commitment and the professionalism they have displayed to make Ibom Air an airline to beat. It is an airline to beat anytime, anywhere”, Governor Emmanuel assured.
He described the accolades already trailing the qualitative customer service in the state-owned airlines as expected, stating that Ibom Air has already surpassed the customer satisfaction benchmark and now building customer enthusiasm as a stock in trade.
“When I came into office as Governor, I inherited just one private aircraft, but I thank God I will not leave office with anything less than eight to nine more aircrafts, so that people can see progress and I’m sure the person that will come after me will not leave office with less than twenty five aircrafts”, Governor Emmanuel said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, Ibom Airport Development Company Limited, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga rtd., commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for developing the aviation sector in the state, adding that the governor has delivered on his promises to the people as captured in the completion agenda.
He said “…we still have MRO, we still have the cargo coming up, and we have the Ibom International Terminal we have so many things coming up at this airport how else you could define progress, how else could you define governance more than what we are witnessing. Today we are going to unveil the 5th in the series of our aircraft”.
Nkanga stated that the Governor who is committed in his developmental drive will increase the number of fleets in the airline, noting that “Calabar route has commenced while Ibom Air will be airborne from Enugu International Airport from 14th September”, he said.