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Youngest and emerging indigenous carrier, Ibom Air this week, commenced daily scheduled flights to Port Harcourt with plans to extend its operations to other destinations.
The airline deployed its newly leased Airbus A220-300 in its inaugural flight to Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, bringing to six, the total number of destinations it operates in the country, which include Uyo, Lagos, Abuja, Calabar and Enugu. The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the airline, Mr. George Uriesi, said the airline’s aim is to be able to offer the promise of schedule reliability, on-time departures, and excellent service to a wider pool of domestic travellers across the country.
He also said deployment of the A220-300 to Port Harcourt is apt because the state has the capacity and the flight recorded over 90 per cent load factor on the Lagos-Port Harcourt flights and even on the return flight.
“Port Harcourt has capacity. First flight was about 90 per cent capacity and the return flight is the same thing. We expected that Port Harcourt would provide the kind of load factor to justify the use of this aircraft type and we need it to create more capacity for Port Harcourt passengers.
We have four or five targets as our new destinations, but the decision on where we go is always based on numbers. We want to take this opportunity to assure our passengers that safety and customer satisfaction will remain at the center of Ibom Air’s operations, and we will continue to work hard to meet and exceed your expectations, so that you continue to see us as your airline of first choice,” he said.
Uriesi said Ibom Air has contributed in adding capacity to the country’s fleet of scheduled commercial airliners with the arrival of the Airbus A220-300, which has started driving down airfares.
About two months ago, airfares were going as high as N80, 000 for one hour flight, but with the arrival of more aircraft the airfares are reducing.
Uriesi noted that the arrival of the Airbus A220-300 came at the right time to aid the airline’s growth. He noted that beyond airlifting travellers from one place to another, the airline ought to also be a catalyst to tourism development in Akwa Ibom and already the benefits of having the airline is driving the dream of opening up the state to tourism, hospitality with associated businesses, which in turn are creating jobs and over all development of the state.
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