Ibom Air Shuns Airline Operators’ Strike, Urges Customers To Heed Flight Schedules Today

Ibom Air Shuns Airline Operators’ Strike, Urges Customers To Heed Flight Schedules Today

Iniobong Sunday, Uyo

Barring last minutes change of heart, flight operations across all airports in the country would be grounded, except the Akwa Ibom government-owned Ibom Air Limited, IAL, which has announced it would not be part of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, two-day strike scheduled to begin, Monday, May 9, 2022.

The aviation union had protested over the high cost of aviation fuel, declaring it would call out members to down tools in order to impress it on the authorities intervene.

But the management of the only state-owned Ibom Air led by the Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Mr. Mfon Udom, in a statement at the weekend, said the company’s  operations would not be grounded as airline remains the only aviation company serving the state and others.

The statement explained that the imperative of opting out of the strike was borne out of the need to maintain revenue inflows and protect customers as company remains the only airline serving Akwa Ibom state directly.

“Ibom Air acknowledges the existential threat that these runaway fuel price increases  pose to for air transport industry in Nigeria. We agree that this out-of-control situation is simply unsustainable. However, every airline has its unique model and pressures. We believe that in spite of the escalating fuel prices, airlines volunteering to stop operations would rather exacerbate the already bad situation.

“Ibom Air has financial obligations to suppliers, financiers and staff, which depend on uninterrupted flow of revenues to service. More importantly is the fact that having been paid by customers in advance for flight bookings, we are bound by contract to deliver the services already paid for, to avoid exposing the airline to the avoidable risk of litigation.

“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 would be directly in conflict with and detrimental to the interest of our stakeholders.

“In view of the foregoing facts, Ibom Air will has respectfully disagreed with the decision of AON to suspend flight operations from Monday, May 9, 2022. Ibom Air cannot in the circumstances to stop operating and will continue normal operations on Monday and beyond”, parts of the statement reads.

It added that the management of Ibom Air was not part of the signatories to the strike, explaining that “Ibom Air’s inclusion as signatory to the statement released by AON must have derived its active and committed and active membership of the AON”.

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Airline Operators of NigeriaAONIALIbom Air