Joe Effiong, Uyo,
Despite the COVID-19 occasioned slump in the global aviation sector, the management of Ibom Air, an Akwa Ibom State-owned and operated airline has announced the acquisition more aircraft.
The new aircraft, which brings to four the number of aircrafts in Ibom Air fleet, is said to be capable of filtering and eliminating any contaminated air from its interior, according a press release in its official facebook page on Wednesday.
Ibom Air which commenced commercial flight operations on June 7, 2019, with three aircraft, airlifted 50,000 passengers within 100 days of operations and recorded 98 percent on-time flight departure, according report from the company.
Ibom Air which is currently the only state owned airline in Nigeria, was set up by Governor Udom Emmanuel as part of his plans to open the State up for industrialization through land,sea and air.
Akwa Ibom state under Governor Udom Emmanuel, through Ibom Air, has made bold contributions to expand the Nigerian Aviation industry, recreating a totally new experience for air passengers with her fresh aircraft, adjudged to be the newest in the Nigerian airspace.
The airline said on Wednesday, that the aircraft, a Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft arrived Lagos from Calgary, Canada at 10:48 pm local time, on Tuesday evening, May 5, 2020.
“We are very pleased to receive the first of our two recently purchased Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft, in line with our fleet expansion strategy. With this addition, our fleet grows to four aircraft.”
“This particular aircraft, with registration number 5N-BXP, made its maiden commercial flight in May 2014 (just 6 years ago). Thus, Ibom Air continues to operate the lowest average fleet age amongst Nigeria’s airlines. This fleet strategy is in line with our vision to be a world-class African regional airline”, Ibom Air announced in a release.
The company said her modern fleet of Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft comes fitted with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters which helps to remove contaminated air from the cabin.
“HEPA filters are high – intensity filters that do not just filter dust, but effectively capture greater than 99% of the airborne microbes in the filtered air, including microscopic particles such as bacteria and viruses. Cabin air in HEPA equipped aircraft generally pass through the filters 20-30 times per hour, removing contaminants and greatly enhancing the quality of air in the cabin.”
The Chairman of Ibom Airline Company Limited and former military governor of the State, Retired Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, said the company was expecting two more aircraft to add to three it already have.
The company thanked the Minister of Aviation, regulators in the Aviation sector and the Akwa Ibom state government for giving support to the company to be able to bring in the new aircraft despite the nationwide lockdown. The expansion of the fleet of Ibom Air attests to Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision in aviation industry and and his avowed determination to make the State the industrial hub in the Gulf of Guinea.