Ibom Airlines Limited (Ibom Air) has declared that it will not participate in the decision of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, to withdraw flight services.
AON took the decision to withdraw flight services starting from Monday based on the increase in the price of aviation fuel.
Chief Executive Officer of Ibom Air, Mfon Udom, made the declaration that it would not participate in the decision of AON in a statement issued on Saturday.
He explained that the announcement was to make the position of the airline known on the issue.
The reason for its position, he said, was based on the airline’s financial obligations to suppliers, financiers and workers who depended on an uninterrupted flow of revenue to service as reasons for remaining in service.
“More importantly, 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 us to the risk of avoidable litigation.
“We acknowledge 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 will rather exacerbate an already bad situation.
“Ibom Air has financial obligations to suppliers, financiers, and staff, which depend on an uninterrupted flow of revenue 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 risk of avoidable litigation.”
He said apart from the factors mentioned, the airline was 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.
It assured the public that the airline would continue normal operations on Monday and beyond, adding that the Ibom Air’s inclusion as “signatory” to the statement released by AON must have derived from its active and committed membership of the association.
“Notwithstanding the current situation, we identify strongly with our AON colleagues and will participate in every effort to resolve the frightening situation in the interest of our business, customers, stakeholders and the country,” the airline added.