.As 17 Ibomites engineers ready for certification on CRJ900-Uriesi
The Chief Operating Officer, COO, Ibom Air Mr. George Ureisi says within 10 months of Operations, the airline has opened up the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo and attracted more people to the state.
Speaking at an Aviation webinar by Aviation RoundTable Safety Initiatives, ARTSI, he said the airport had become the fastest growing airport in Nigeria with 35 per cent growth, adding that hotel occupancy in Akwa Ibom had gone way up with the Ibom Air coming on board.
Mr Ureisi said the Akwa Ibom State Government had invested massively not only in an airport which is “one of if not the best airport in the country as far airport infrastructure is concerned”, but built the best Maintenance Repair and Overhaul MRO facility in the country.
According to him, though not finished it is a good facility, adding that with the airline which is the third tripod on that stand, the State has been opened up for business which would result in employment creation.
Explaining further, the Ibom Air COO said, “The airline opens up access to Akwa Ibom allows the MRO facility to be activated so that it can maintain its own aeroplanes, it brings in hugely more viability to the airport.”
Ureisi stated that 173 Akwa Ibomites were currently training to be pilots, cabin crew and customer service people while 17 young Akwa Ibom engineers are going to be certified on the CRJ900.
“Ten years down the line imagines what that would mean for Akwa Ibom.”
He stressed that it was possible for the Federal Government or State government to run an airline, if it is operated with a business model that allows it and if is efficiently and professionally run.
“As a private airline whether we do it internationally I don’t know this is still an experiment and let’s watch and see how this ends up. Finally, don’t think that a state-owned carrier is owed forever, a state could start it set it on the right path and get out of the way, there are many options for this, it is hard for me to say yes or now.”
It would be recalled that on Tuesday 19 May 2020, Ibom Air’s 4th aircraft, 5N-BXP joined other 3 CRJ’s in Uyo after completing all regulatory requirements with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority in Lagos.
The aircraft are all registered and marked 5N-BXP was warmly welcomed by her sister aircraft, 5N-BWK, 5N-BWL and 5N-BWM.