Ime Silas with Agency Report
If the calls by major stakeholders in the Aviation Industry is anything to be relied upon, then the sector’s regulator, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), may wield its dangling cautionary stick against the Akwa Ibom state Government, owners and promoters of Ibom Air.
It would be recalled that the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel recently announced personally to the whole world that his administration through Ibom Air, had taken delivery of two (2) “..state-of-the-arts brand new Airbus 220-300”. This was also confirmed by the Managing Director of Ibom Air.
They claimed further that the two new aircrafts were the first to be acquired by any airline in Nigeria. Meaning, that anywhere an Airbus 220-300 is found in Nigeria, it either belongs to Ibom Air or a foreign airline.
These claims have been found allegedly to be untrue and embarrassing to the aviation sector.
Pundits say that Green Africa Airways has been flying the A220-300 since the year 2020. According to experts, it is also not true that the two recently acquired A220-300 are brand new. It was gathered that they “…used to fly the Cairo – Tel Aviv route under Air Sinai until relations turned sour between Egypt and Israel. A change of policy led to their being offloaded to Ibom Air…”, says a concerned Akwa Ibomite.
Meanwhile, the Aviation Industry stakeholders have frowned at the reports indicating that one of Nigeria’s major carriers has acquired brand new Airbus A2020, saying that such a claim, which is false, is deceptive and should be discouraged by the regulatory authority, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Reacting to the claim, the chief operating officer of Air Peace, Toyin Olajide said that the aviation industry in Nigeria and globally is aware that in the past 10 years it is only Air Peace that has acquired brand new aircraft in Nigeria.
Olajide said that it is public knowledge that Air Peace made a firm order for 13 Embraer E195-E2 aircraft and the new aircraft, which Embraer showed the world when it was in the production line has started arriving.
“The first one arrived on January 28, the second came on March 18 and the third one is coming in on June 17, 2021. They are flown directly from the manufacturing facility in San Jose, Brazil. The 13 aircraft we ordered will be brought into the country by the manufacturer, Embraer. I don’t understand the tendency to deceive the public by claiming an aircraft that was leased from another airline is brand new,” the Air Peace COO said.
Amos Akpan, the managing director, Flight and Logistics Solutions, said such claims is condemnable because it is misinforming the public, noting that brand new aircraft usually comes straight from the manufacturing line.
“The only aircraft that have been delivered brand new in recent times is the Embraer E195-E2 delivered by Embraer to Air Peace. People saw when the aircraft was being manufactured in the manufacturing line. In any case, if you take the manufactured serial number (MSN) of the aircraft claimed to be delivered brand new, you will see when it was manufactured, the first airline that received the aircraft and so on,” Akpan said.
In his reaction, the former Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi said such a claim is wrong because it sends bad signals to the industry, noting that the history of the aircraft is public knowledge and there was no need to distort those facts.
“I don’t see the need to claim that aircraft that was leased is brand new. Yes, the aircraft type is new in the market but the one that came into Nigeria is not brand new. It was leased from another airline. So there is no need misinforming the public,” Sanusi said.