Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye, has commended Ibom Air for its services that have ensured the airline’s rapid growth within a short period.
Governor Diri spoke when the airline’s inaugural flight landed at the Bayelsa International Airport.
The inaugural flight, which touched down around 4pm on Tuesday, will operate daily alongside another carrier, United Nigeria Airline (UNA).
The governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, expressed delight over the commencement of commercial flight operations by the airline at the airport, saying it will strengthen economic cooperation between states in South South of the country.
He said Ibom Air would complement the operations of UNA at the airport.
According to him, as the only airline operating at the Bayelsa airport, the UNA was already being overwhelmed by the patronage of passengers that are increasing daily.
Governor Diri expressed the optimism that Bayelsans will have a good experience using the new airline.
He hailed the administration of his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Governor Udom Emmanuel, who he described as a worthy leader that has showed capacity as examplified by the coming on board of Ibom Air.
Describing Governor Emmanuel as a brother, Diri called for sustenance of the brotherliness between both states.
He observed that the story of the South South region was changing from that of deprivation and underdevelopment to a developed region and called on governors of the region to forge closer ties in order to better the lot of the people.
His words: “It gives me great joy to welcome an airline from the South South state of Akwa Ibom. The South South has been in the discourse for years in terms of development and resource control. But our story is changing.
“Today, we do not have only one international airport as it used to be. Now we have an airport in all the South South states.
“I like to acknowledge my predecessor, who was visionary in the construction of this airport.
“What we are doing here is historic. Last year, we were here in large numbers to welcome the first commercial flight in Bayelsa and this airport was ecstatic.
“But, today we are seeing something different. Here is a collaboration between a privately-owned company with Ibom Air.
“As a government, we will be glad to have more flights coming into Yenagoa and that is why government is visible at this event.
“Let me appreciate my brother, Governor Udom who has been in the saddle for about seven years now. He has been a good brother and one who has the capacity to lead his people and has showed it in many ways, including the establishment of Ibom Air.”
Earlier, the Chief Operating Officer, Ibom Air, George Uriesi, said it is a new vista in the relationship between Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom and promised that they will continue to deliver the top class services the airline is known for.
In a welcome address, the Commissioner for Transport, Grace Ekiotene, thanked the state government and everybody who made it possible for the inaugural commercial flight to touch down in Bayelsa, stressing that the state is open to the world.