The Ibom Air, the first commercial airline to be owned and operated by a state government in Africa, will begin full commercial operations today, June 7, having secured its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Mr Ekerete Udoh stated this on Thursday, noting that the airline, having fulfilled all the regulatory conditions and requirements, was certified fit to commence commercial operations, leading to the maiden flight billed for today, June 7th.
“It will maintain regular daily flights to both Lagos (MMA2) and Abuja respectively.
“The aircrafts in its fleet (Bombardier CRJ 900) have the distinction of being relatively new, all three, under 10 years old,” Udoh said.
He said the commencement of the commercial operations by Ibom Air had been celebrated by Akwa Ibomites and other Nigerians as a testament to the visionary leadership of Gov. Udom Emmanuel.
“The governor who seems determined to break conventional wisdom concerning things long thought to be impossible to achieve,” he said.
He noted that the development was Gov. Emmanuel’s avowed determination to open the three gateways to industrialisation-land, sea and air appears to be on course.
The Ibom Airline represents one of the signature projects of Gov. Emmanuel’s First Term; and was launched on Feb. 20th with three aircrafts by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Meanwhile, the General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, confirmed the development on Thursday in Lagos.
Adurogboye said that the airline formally obtained the AOC from the NCAA on June 6, as an approval granted by a national aviation authority (NAA) to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes.
This requires the operator to have personnel, assets and system in place to ensure the safety of its employees and the general public.
“We are starting with flights on Uyo – Lagos and Uyo-Abuja routes and everybody is delighted, ” a source said.
The airline has three Bombardier CRJ-900LR (CL-600.2D24) aircraft with registration numbers C-FWKZ, C-FWNL and C-FWNK.
The first of the aircraft landed at the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo on Feb. 20.
It was received by Gov. Udom Emmanuel and other eminent personalities in the state.