Ibom Air To Continue Flight Operations Despite Signing AON Statement To Shut Down On May 9


Ibom Air, one of the domestic airlines and a member of the Airline Operators of Nigeria(AON) has stated that it would continue its operations on Monday despite jointly signing the AON statement to discontinue flights  on Monday 9, 2022, due to skyrocketing price of aviation fuel which stood at N700 per litre.

Recalled that AON statement was  signed  on Friday, May 6,2022 by  its  President, Alhaji (Dr.) Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, Executive Director, Max Air, Alhaji Shehu Wada, Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines,. Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, Chief Executive Officer of Ibom Air, Capt. Mfon Udom,CEO of Arik Air, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu and  CEO, Aero Contractors, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood

Other CEOs that signed the statement are, MD, Azman Air Alhaji Faisal Abdulmunaf, CEO, Overland Airways, Capt. Edward Boyo, Deputy CEO, Dana Air, Mr. Sukh Mann and Chairman of Air Peace, Barr. Allen Onyema, Chairman, Air Peace

The AON also copied the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu

However, a  statement by the management of  Ibom Air said that it decided to pull out of the collective decision taken by its umbrella body due to what it termed its financial obligations to suppliers, financiers and staff, which depend on uninterrupted flow of revenue to service.

The statement added that more importantly is the fact that Ibom Air having been paid by customers in advance for flight bookings, it is bound by contract to deliver the services already paid for, to avoid exposing the airline to the risk of avoidable litigation.

The airline also argued that it decided not to agree with the decision taken by AON because apart from the above factors, Ibom Air is currently the only airline serving Akwa Ibom state directly and as such, any voluntary stoppage of operations would completely cut off access by air into and out of the state.

Such action, the airline stated, would be directly in conflict with and detrimental to the interest of our shareholder.

The airline, the management acknowledged the existential threat that these runaway fuel price increases pose for the air transport industry in Nigeria.

“We agree that this out-of-control situation is simply unsustainable. However, every airline has its unique business model and pressures. We believe that in spite of the escalating fuel prices, airlines volunteering to stop operations would rather exacerbate an already bad situation.” Ibom Air Management said.

The statement contended that, “In view of the foregoing facts, Ibom Air had respectfully disagreed with the decision of AON to suspend flight operations on Monday 9, May 2022. Ibom Air cannot in the circumstance volunteer to stop operating and will continue normal operations on Monday 9, May 2022 and beyond. Ibom Air’s inclusion as “signatory” to the statement released by AON must have derived from its active and committed membership of the AON,” the statement reads.

The statement pointed out that Ibom Airlines Limited has been inundated with inquiries about what will happen on Monday 9, May, 2022, following the public statement issued by AON Executive, on Friday, May 6, 2022 and it has become necessary for us to make clarifications.

It added that the above notwithstanding, Ibom Air identifies very strongly with its AON colleagues and will participate in every effort to resolve this frightening situation as soon as possible in the interest of its business, customers, stakeholders and Nigeria.

The airline thanked its customers for their continued patronage and also thanked the AON for its collective efforts to secure a sustainable fuel pricing regime for the airlines.

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