Ibom Air, a commercial airline owned by the Akwa Ibom State Government, is set to begin regional flights to seven African countries in April.
The group Manager, Marketing and Communication for Ibom Air, Anie Essienette, disclosed this while briefing reporters in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Friday.
The expansion, which comes a little over a year after the airline signed an agreement with Airbus for the purchase of 10 A220 aircraft to boost its fleet, will see the airline flying to the Central and West African countries.
Mrs Essienette listed the African countries covered under the planned regional flight expansion, to include Liberia, Senegal, Gabon, Ghana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, and Gambia.
“Already, we have an invite to fly in Gambia but will commence regional operations in the next two months.
“Ibom Air started with three aircraft, but in the course of our operations additional two aircraft were acquired. When the demand for our services was higher, we requested for 10 more aircraft,” Mrs Essienette said.
“Seven aircraft have been booked for international operations. They will be throughout 2023. As we speak, some experts have gone to inspect it to ensure that the aircraft are built to our specifications.
“Before the end of 2023, our own aircraft will be delivered but the Airbuses will be supplied in tranches,” she explained.
Ibom Air, which launched its maiden flight in June 2019, is rated as one of the most successful airlines in Nigeria.
The airline won the best airline of the year award consecutively in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and is ranked the best airline by Travellers Awards.
Parameters considered by the award committee include average age of aircraft, schedule integrity, spread of services, customer care, and inflight services, and the total number of flights done.
The airline on 16 December 2022 recorded its 2 millionth passenger since it began commercial flight.