•Ibom Air tables bid for 10 Airbus as Overland orders six Embraer175
Local airlines, yesterday, at the ongoing Dubai Airshow fiesta, placed aircraft orders in excess of $1.2 billion.
Akwa Ibom State-owned carrier, Ibom Air, was scheduled to table an ambitious bid for 10 brand new Airbus 200-300 aircraft. At a market price of $90.5 per aircraft, the bid is worth about $905 million in total.
Similarly, Overland Airways placed a firm order for three new Embraer E175 regional jets, plus rights for the purchase of another three. The deal is worth $299.4 million, at list prices, if all purchase rights are exercised.
The bid will fetch Ibom Air some of the latest modern and efficient airplanes made by the French commercial jet manufacturer, between 2023 and 2024.
The Guardian learnt that the request was part of measures to deepen operations of the startup that tested the waters with BombardierCRJ900 aircraft and lately tried its hands on two Airbus 220 that were wet-leased from Air Sinai.
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, at the weekend, said that the state government had concluded plans to add 10 additional A220-300 aircraft to the fleet of Ibom Air.
Emmanuel, who spoke at an event marking the 85th birthday of Obong Etim Abia, the Paramount Ruler of Eket in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, said: “As I am leaving here, we are signing fresh agreements that will give us 10 brand new A220-300 Airbus. So, even when I leave office, it will remain an enduring legacy,” he said.
According to the manufacturer, the A220-300 is perfectly tailored for the 120-160 seat market. It represents the fusion of performance and technology, allowing airlines to connect distant points on continents and for route sectors that were previously unprofitable or impossible to perform.
Overland opened event sales for Embraer at this year’s airshow, after Boeing and Airbus stole the show on an opening day on Sunday.
Chief Executive Officer of Overland Airways, Capt. Edward Boyo, was confident that the airline has invested in the right equipment, as regional aviation is on an optimistic post-pandemic recovery.
“Our customers will really enjoy all comfort in the E175, and we appreciate our partnership with Embraer,” Boyo said.
The aircraft will be delivered with a premium class cabin configuration and 88-seats from 2023.
Vice-president for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Embraer Commercial Aviation, Cesar Pereira, commented on the order: “We are proud of this partnership with Overland and to support their regional expansion. We are seeing growing long-term demand for right sized aircraft to deliver profitable domestic connections in Nigeria.”
The E175 is Embraer’s smallest of the E-jet family, and the only one not to have been reworked into the new technology E2 configuration. It has proven to be a popular aircraft during the pandemic, offering incredible efficiency and the right sort of capacity for the depressed market size.
Ibom Air and Overland are apparently following the charge of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, encouraging operators to embrace a young fleet, coupled with Air Peace’s success with Embraer’s brand new airplanes.
The A220-300’s advanced aerodynamics, combined with specifically-designed Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G geared turbofan engines, contribute to an aircraft that delivers 25 per cent lower fuel burn per seat than previous generation aircraft, with half the noise footprint and decreased emissions, making it a true community-minded jetliner.
Both the A220-300 and the shorter-fuselage A220-100 share 99 per cent commonality, and use the same family of engines – enabling operators to fly both versions at a significant cost saving. Flight crews with the same pilot type rating, and cabin personnel assigned to both aircraft types, will enjoy a seamless transition between the A220-300 and A220-100, greatly reducing complexity and training costs for airlines.
In addition to delivering best-in-class economics, the A220 Family’s cabin was purpose-built for an excellent passenger experience. A220 Family aircraft are recognised for their low noise levels, providing a quiet, comfortable cabin.