……we are determined to sustain on time departure, give passengers the best of service…Director airline services
The people of Cross River has a lot to be excited about in this period of the Coronavirus pandemic as commercial activities will be getting a boost with the launch of domestic flight operations into the state by Ibom air.
The inaugural flight to Calabar, the Cross River State Capital today which took off from Lagos was operated with the Ibom Air CRJ900 and had onboard the Former Cross River State Governor, Mr. Donald Duke, his wife and passengers who were excited to fly with the airline for the first time.
The Ibom Air flight on landing was welcomed to the Magret Ekpo International Airport Calabar with a water cannon salute by officials of the Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting Services, ARFFS, of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN while passengers were welcomed by a traditional dance troupe of the State.
There was also a beautifully decorated cake with the airline colours stationed at the baggage collection area where passengers and other guests gather to take pictures.
Speaking on the entry of Ibom Air into Calabar, the Former Cross River State Governor Mr. Donald Duke said he was excited about this development as the airline service to the city would open up businesses in the state.
He stated that before now, they were deprived of not being able to move in and out of Calabar at will, adding that with Ibom air connecting the state with Lagos and Abuja directly, the people and visitors would be encouraged to come in and go out at anytime.
Duke stressed that the hospitality industry in the State would benefit fully and small businesses were bound to string up.
“Commuting and all that, you know unfortunately, until lately it’s only be one flight in and out of Calabar, so this adds to it, this adds more commerce to the city when people can go in and come out more frequently and there are more visitors, so the hospitality industry will benefit because our people can benefit lots more, overall, it will become a destination, you are not a destination if I can’t get to you, so people can come in here and leave at will, then you are a destination.”
Duke who commended the airline for maintaining high safety standards and always keeping to departure time, urged the people of the State to patronize Ibom Air to get value for money and the best of service.
“Ibom air is noted for living up to standards, they leave on time and they do things the right way even though it is very new in the industry, they have kept very, very high standards that I want to encourage them to maintain those standards and also want to encourage our people to patronize the airline and am sure with them coming in our state will be better of, commercial live will be better off and am also believe that it would help further the relationship between both people.”
” I want to congratulate the government of Akwa Ibom State for setting up the airline and commend the Management, they have done very, very well.”
“Am excited you know one of the things that we have been deprived of is being able to move in and out of Calabar at will. Even more exciting is that it is from a sister state, am always excited when I hear them speak the local dialect on the aircraft like there is some nostalgic feelings to it.”
Ibom Air, Director Airline services, Amaka Echetabu said the airline was happy to spread its wings to Calabar in this unprecedented times and was determined to sustain its on time departure, schedule reliability and superior service.
She emphasized that no matter how the market shrinks, people would expected to be moved from one place to the other and the airline was here to do that movement.
“We want the people to feel worth their weight in gold when they come to fly, we want to treat people very well, this is what we are really all about at Ibom air, we want to give them the best and what they paid for.”
Echetabu pointed out that Akwa Ibom and Cross River are sisters and as family, they cannot do business without each other, adding that the coming of Ibom Air would further help the economies of doing business in Cross River State.
“It’s all about the market really, I would say that Calabar is a sister, its all family, we can’t really do business without each other, we are family and we can’t be doing all these good stuff in Akwa Ibom and not exporting some of it to Calabar as well, so this is what we have done, this is what we are doing, they definitely need us here it is not really about how many, it’s how well and we are going to come here and put in our very best.”
She explained the flight schedule on the new route as follows; “We have a restart schedule that starts from Lagos at 8.30am in the morning, arrives Calabar 10.25am, we have a 45 minutes time on ground here, it departs for Abuja and it gets back to Calabar and departs Calabar for Lagos at 2.20pm. we bring you in from Lagos, you can actually go do stuff in Calabar, come back later on to fly out.”
“So you can come in, do whatever you want to do, catch up with us in the afternoon to Lagos and we can take people into Abuja as well and bring them back. We really thought it through and for now this is what we are doing and yes, it can only improve with time. We are really excited to be here.”