Unlocking Africa’s Skies: The Ibom Air Phenomenon
Ibom Air might be Africa’s newest airline, However, it has already exhibited the potential to positively alter Nigeria’s aviation scene. This article will discuss Ibom Air as an emerging airline in African airspace and why the world should take note of its display of professionalism.
According to Udom Emmanuel, the former state governor of Akwa Ibom, “Never in the history of this nation, or indeed anywhere else in Africa that I can recall, has a state government gone into airline operations. Akwa Ibom State is, therefore, the first to achieve this. We should all collectively give ourselves a pat on the back.”
Established in 2019 by the Nigerian state government of Akwa Ibom, Ibom Air is a regional administration within Nigeria, not the federal government, which has previously dabbled with aviation. So far, the airline has had great success, expanding its fleet from one Bombardier CRJ900 to five. With a capacity of 76–90 passengers and a range of 1,553 nautical miles (2,876 km), these aircraft are ideal for regional air travel in Africa. A range that has enabled the airline to launch new routes from its hub at Akwa Ibom Airport in Uyo to:
Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar; Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja; Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu; and Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos
Aside from being regarded as one of the most successful airlines in the country, Ibom Air has won numerous honours, including the best airline of the Year in 2020, 2021, and 2022. As of December 2022, the commercial flights had carried over 2 million passengers with excellent service delivery, according to the IOSA audit of Ibom Air. Let’s take a look at some of the successes of the airline over the years.
In May 2021, Dana Air and Ibom Air inked the first-ever domestic airline codeshare agreement at the corporate headquarters of Ibom Air, Victor Attah International Airport Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, in an effort to provide additional route alternatives, scheduling options, and a simple connection for the flying public.
The Manager/Chief Operating Officer of Dana Air, Obi Mbanuzuo, remarked during the signing ceremony, “We are glad to be here today, formalising this dialogue, which began approximately a year ago. This is a historic first for domestic Nigerian airlines and carriers and is very positive for both Dana Air and Ibom Air.
At the Dubai Airshow in November 2021, Ibom Air also inked a contract with Airbus for the purchase of 10 A220 aircraft to expand its fleet; this will allow it to fly to countries in West and Central Africa.
In the presence of Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, the ex-governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mfon Udom, the chief executive officer of Ibom Air, and Christian Scherer, the chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International, the agreement was signed.
The following ATQ Traveller Awards were presented to Ibom Air:
Best On-Time Performance for Domestic Airlines in 2021
Domestic Airline of the Year 2021
Aviation’s Biggest Event of 2021
Also in October 2022, Ibom Air received recognition at the 2022 Aviators Africa Conference and Tower Awards in Johannesburg with the “Promising Airline Award.”
Ibom Air obtained a safety certificate from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) at the airline’s headquarters in Uyo in April 2023, according to Group Manager Marketing and Communication, Aniekan Essienette.
“The certification validates the airline’s high operational and safety standards and is an essential milestone as the airline positions itself for regional operations and collaboration,” Mrs. Essienette said.
Big things are on the way
In the end, Ibom Air is doing everything right in the market, with new aircraft, big objectives, and plenty of support. It will only be a matter of time before the airline opens new routes and seizes market share.
Ibom Air will expand routes to seven African countries.
In an effort to build its brand and become a regional airline, Ibom Air has disclosed ambitions to increase its route network to seven African nations.
The airline, which now has a fleet of seven planes, declared its intent to annex African land in 2023.
Senegal, Liberia, and Ghana are among the African nations, according to Aniekan Essienette, group manager of marketing and communication, who made this statement while speaking with journalists in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state. She lists Sierra Leone, Gabon, and Gambia as additional countries.
Akwa Ibom will purchase 10 aircraft to expand Ibom Air’s fleet.
The Akwa Ibom State Government has unveiled plans to add 10 new aircraft to the fleet of the state-owned Ibom Airlines Limited as part of attempts to control the airspace.
“We are beginning a comprehensive aeronautical development. Our maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility are 85% finished. This facility will once again generate jobs for our people and bring in foreign exchange to our state once it is operational, hopefully by October of this year, according to Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
The Akwa Ibom government plans to invest N14 billion in Ibom Air
The Akwa Ibom State Government would inject N14 billion into Ibom Air, a commercial airline.
The airline recapitalization was approved during one of the Akwa Ibom State Executive Council meetings in Uyo, according to a meeting transcript shared on social media by the State Commissioner of Information, Ini Ememobong.
It happened two weeks after the airline declared that regional flights to seven African nations would start in April 2023.
With all the feats mentioned and plans to further improve its service delivery across African airspace, Ibom Air relentlessly fought the good fight to stay relevant in the aviation industry in Africa.
Governor Emmanuel also affirmed during the launching of Ibom Air in 2019, “It is important to note that the launching of the airline was a fulfillment of his vision for the state and Nigeria. The opening of this airline is a tremendous achievement not just in Nigeria but throughout Africa.”
Ibom Air, Nigeria’s young carrier, is aiming to become a regional airline after continually providing great service in the aviation sector since its launch over a year ago and consistently increasing its fleet to match the growing demand in the industry.
So, in order to boost revenue and loyalty, the airline must continue to maintain current consumers or find means to attract more customers, even as it extends to other African continents. The airline must also look out for customers’ welfare during transit. Aviation marketing techniques are the order of the day for any astute airline marketing company. When a passenger chooses an airline, they entrust it with not just the safety and comfort of their business and leisure travel but also the success of those journeys.