The Akwa Ibom State government is on the verge of making history with the floating of a state fully owned airline, Ibom Air.
This was announced by the state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel at the weekend during the state’s annual Christmas Carol in Uyo, saying the airline is ready for commercial operation.
According to Emmanuel, the floating of the new airline will be the first state government owned airline in Africa and is ready for commercial scheduled flights.
According to the government, the new airline currently has a fleet of three aircrafts, with service commencing with two aircrafts which have already been branded in Canada and will land in Uyo, the state capital by the end of the year. The third is expected to join by February 2019.
“Our state owned and run Obong Victor Attah International Airport has a Category 2 runaway and work is on-going on the second taxiway. To ensure that our state remains the destination of choice for foreign investors, we are launching Ibom Air, our wholly owned airline that will lessen the problems currently being encountered by our numerous air travellers,” Emmanuel said.
The governor, while speaking at the Carol, also gave account of his stewardship, reeling out his achievements since 2015.
According to him, his administration has performed creditably in all sectors, especially in the areas of rural electrification, roads, health care delivery, industrialisation, among other key developmental projects.
The governor further restated the commitment of his administration to make the state an industrial hub in the country and West Africa sub-region with a view to creating jobs and opportunities for growth.
Emmanuel also explained that he became governor when the country was going through the worst economic crises in her recent history and even when most state governments could not pay their workers’ salaries, he went ahead to clear 10 years backlog of pensions and gratuities spanning 2001 to 2011.