Ibom Air (QI, Uyo) has placed an order for ten A220s with Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) during the 2021 Dubai Air Show. The acquisition provisionally consists of three A220-300s and seven A220-100s although this is subject to change. According to Mfon Udom, the chief executive officer of Ibom Air, deliveries will begin in the first quarter of 2023.

Backed by the Nigerian state of Akwa Ibom, Ibom Air originally planned to focus its growth on the CRJ900LR of which it planned to acquire ten, Udom said. However, having inducted five of the type into service, all of which are leased from Falko Regional Aircraft, it saw the need for greater capacity jets to help build its Nigerian domestic network as well as foster future international growth. At that point, it decided to wet-lease in two A220-300s from EgyptAir (MS, Cairo Int'l) on year-long contracts in June to assess the aircraft for itself. With the jets having proven themselves both economically viable as well as popular with customers, the decision to place an order for the A220 was taken.

“It gives me great pleasure to be here to announce Ibom Air’s order for 10 Airbus A220s," Udom said. “As an organization, we at Ibom Air are delighted with the steep growth we have achieved in just over two and a half years since we commenced operations, a growth chiefly driven by the massive embrace of our product and brand by the Nigerian domestic flying public. The addition of the A220 to our fleet will support our growth strategy and boost operational efficiency. It will also offer our passengers more space and enhanced cabin experience, as a value add for choosing us.”

The CEO underscored that the incoming A220s would be used to supplement the CRJs rather than replace them.

Ibom Air currently flies to Uyo, Abuja, Lagos, Calabar, Enugu Port Harcourt City, and Port Harcourt Omagwa, the ch-aviation schedules module shows. Under the first phase of its growth plan, Ibom Air said it will open up new domestic Nigerian sectors as well as serve various cities throughout West and Central Africa including Malabo, Douala, Libreville, Kinshasa N'Djili, Accra, Abidjan, Freetown, Banjul, and Dakar Blaise Diagne Int'l. Thereafter, it said it would look to cover the entire African continent.

Editorial Comment: Adds delivery date as well as international network plans - 17.11.2021 - 08:44 UTC