Emily Johnson
Wed, Sep 13, 2023 7:50 AM

Ibom Air's Focus on African Expansion and Fleet Expansion Drive

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Ibom Air's Focus on African Expansion and Fleet Expansion Drive
Ibom Air, a Nigerian airline, has revealed its intention to focus on expanding its operations within Africa. The Chief Operating Officer, George Uriesi, explained that entering into unhealthy competition with big airlines in other countries would not be financially viable. Instead, the airline aims to build a secure and service-focused brand within the African region. Uriesi also highlighted the milestone achievements of Ibom Air, including reaching 2.5 million passengers and obtaining the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Certification.

Ibom Air, the prominent Nigerian airline, has announced its strategic direction to concentrate its efforts on expanding within the African continent rather than pursuing intercontinental routes. During the Airbus Media Event at the Africa Aviation Summit in Abuja, George Uriesi, the Chief Operating Officer of Ibom Air, affirmed the airline's commitment to building a safe and service-oriented brand.

Uriesi emphasized that engaging in unhealthy competition with major international airlines would not be a wise move for Ibom Air. Big airlines often resort to slashing prices to eliminate smaller carriers from the international market, and Ibom Air lacks the financial capacity to compete on that level. Instead, the airline aims to deliver exceptional service and profitability by operating on routes where it can grow sustainably.

The airline has achieved significant milestones since its inception. On 12th July 2023, Ibom Air reached the remarkable milestone of transporting 2.5 million passengers. Its commitment to schedule reliability and on-time performance has solidified its position as the domestic airline with the best performance in Nigeria. Furthermore, Ibom Air obtained the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) Certification in March 2023, further attesting to its commitment to maintaining the highest safety standards.

Regarding fleet expansion, Uriesi outlined the airline's meticulous assessment process, leading them to choose the 'next gen' Bombardier CRJ 900 aircraft. These aircraft, with a seating capacity of 76-90 passengers, offer low usage, high reliability, and reduced maintenance costs during the initial years. The suitability of these aircraft for domestic operations in Nigeria surpasses that of competing models such as the B737, A319/320 family, and MD80/83.

Due to the growing demand and capacity constraints, Ibom Air needed to further expand its fleet. As a result, it opted for an initial one-year 'wet-lease' of two Airbus A220-300s from Egyptair, with deliveries commencing on 30th June 2021. The successful reception and performance of these aircraft in the Nigerian market led the airline to sign an order for 10 new A220-300s from Airbus, with deliveries set to begin in November 2023.

In order to secure the necessary financing for this expansion, Airbus played an instrumental role by providing guidance and connections within the aviation financing and economics industry. They also facilitated Ibom Air's participation in major industry conferences, allowing the Nigerian airline to gain international exposure and establish valuable connections with key industry players.

As Ibom Air continues to develop and expand, it is evident that their focus on the African market reflects a clear strategy for sustainable growth. By prioritizing service quality, reliability, and profitability, the airline aims to solidify its position as a leading player in the African aviation industry.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-13 News

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