Akwa Ibom State government-owned Ibom Airline Company is gearing up to commence operations after acquiring no fewer than three aircraft into its fleet, and concluding a recruitment process with 400 direct and indirect jobs for Akwa Ibom unemployed indigenes.
The State government says that the airline will for the moment operate within Uyo-Lagos- Abuja routes, adding that it ventured into airline operations to add to the capacity of existing airlines.
Akan Okon, the Commissioner for Special Duties and Aviation Development, said in Uyo, the state capital, that the recruitment process had been concluded with an Akwa Ibom son as Chief Pilot. He explained that the heavy traffic witnessed at the Akwa Ibom airport made it imperative for the state government to join the few airlines operating there.
“Ibom Air has come to stay. Three aircraft are secured and are ready for commencement of operation. It is completely owned and operated by Akwa Ibom State Government and it will provide 400 direct and indirect jobs,” he said
Okon said though the airline is exclusively owned by the Akwa Ibom State government, its management and operations would be bench-marked against international best practices.
Staff of the new airline, recruited strictly on merit, are currently undergoing training in their various areas of specialties, and getting set to start operations as soon as required formalities are concluded, Okon explained.
On the state of the Victor Attah International Airport, Okon said that is at the moment undergoing work to improve the standard of the airport with the ongoing work on the second runway, new taxiway, a power sub-station, new commercial building and other unique features.
These improvements made it possible for over 20 aircraft on President Muhammadu Buhari’s entourage to land at the airport during the flag off of the APC presidential campaigns in Akwa Ibom for the South-South region, he explained.
Okon attributed the state government’s success in this area to governor Udom Emmanuel, who he said had consistently made what may appear impossible to others, a possibility in the state.