Nigeria’s Ibom Air Takes Delivery Of Two Airbus A220s

Ibom Air has taken delivery of two Airbus A220 aircraft this month. These narrowbodies are on lease from EgyptAir and join the Nigerian airline’s five CRJ900 aircraft already in its fleet. The carrier is looking to grow with its state’s economy through the use of these planes.

Air Sinai A220
Both aircraft (including SU-GFA pictured) were built less than two years ago, bringing down the age of Ibom Air’s fleet. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons

Young aircraft for a young airline

The two aircraft were formerly operated by Air Sinai on the outfit’s covert Tel Aviv routes. These deliveries mark two years of services for Ibom Air. The Akwa Ibom state government commenced operations with the carrier on June 7th, 2019, following a flight from Victor Attah International Airport in Uyo to Muritala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos. Uniquely, this operator was the first state airline to be founded in Nigeria.

Ibom Air took delivery of three CRJ900s ahead of the launch of flights, which, according to ch-aviation, started to arrive from February 2019. Two more units of the regional jet were also delivered last year.

Now, the airline is looking to scale things up with two units of the praised A220. This aircraft has been receiving several accolades across the globe by airlines for its modern approach to short and medium-haul operations. Its high fuel efficiency and comfort are two of the factors that have left airlines such as SWISS, airBaltic, Delta Air Lines, Air Canada, and Korean Air taking on the type.

airBaltic A220
The Airbus A220 has found several fans over the last few years, especially with airBaltic opting to hold an A220-only fleet. Photo: Getty Images.

A grand occasion

Umaru Fintiri, the governor of Adamawa state, was at the scene to mark the arrival of the new aircraft in Uyo. He shared that these moves are growing the overall aviation industry, and by extension, unlocking the economy of the country.

At the delivery press conference, Fintiri concluded the following:

“This is one airline that has been growing from number to number and from strength to strength.”

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According to Radarbox.com, registration SU-GFD, the first A220-300 to arrive, left Cairo on June 5th to land in Lagos on the same day. Follow this, SU-GFA flew into the capital of Nigeria on June 11th. Both aircraft left for Uyo yesterday.

Ibom Air Aircraft
At the moment, all of Ibom Air’s aircraft are on lease. Photo: Ibom Air

Looking ahead

Ibom Air flies to Abuja, Calabar, Enugu, Uyo, and Lagos, focusing on domestic operations. Domestic and regional activity across Africa have seen positive spells of rebounds since last summer. With a range of up to 3,400 NM (6,297 km), the A220-300 will undoubtedly fit well within Ibom Air’s network and open up new opportunities to its neighboring regions.

Overall, there are strong prospects for the continent’s aviation industry this decade with growing market segments and faith from investors. Taking on new, efficient aircraft such as the A220 conveys strong ambitions for Ibom Air in this next chapter.

What are your thoughts about the prospects of Ibom Air and its Airbus A220 aircraft? What do you make of the delivery of the two planes? Let us know what you think of the move in the comment section.

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