IBOM AIR’s Group Marketing Manager, Mrs. Aniekan Essienette, has expressed confidence of airlines’ bounce back post COVID-19 stressing that the airline so far is doing better than estimation during the pandemic induced lull for air travel.
There has been a general drop in air travel due to the pandemic but the marketing manager remains positive that the trend will change as she states that Ibom Air travel is picking up as passengers are finding their way back into the cabins.
Mrs. Essienette who spoke to Nigerianflightdeck during the airline’s inaugural flight to Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar said the load factor was picking and getting better each day.
She said: “Well given the COVID-19 there is still travel apathy amongst our passengers but it’s picking up and we have to allow the public to come in on their own. What we are doing is getting publicity out there to assure that if you have concerns about flying or the convenience of gone flight, we have you covered.
“Airlines are HEPA fortified High Efficiency Particulate Air filers which filters air every three to five minutes so in fact our aircraft is the best kind of air you can breathe right now and you can take that to the bank. And when you know we can get you to your destination safely and secure, it would give you the confidence to fly.
On the passenger traffic she said, “The load factor: as I said earlier there is travel apathy but based on our forecast we have exceeded most of our projections on load factor and they are picking up on a daily basis. Before this time out we were having about 70-80% load factor but of course like I said due to the apathy it’s low but it’s coming up a bit and based on our projection, it has exceeded our projection for this period.
On route expansion, she explained that Ibom Air is being strategic and looking at travel needs before embarking on expansion.
She further said the airline is going beyond the domestic market but will take its time in carving out its niche and establishing itself as a worthy carrier of note.
“So Ibom Air has an expansion plan which cuts across the entire Nigeria and what we are doing is we are looking at gone various location where there are needs and we are going there first but we want to position ourselves as the regional airline of choice for people traveling in Nigeria that require safety and comfort.”
“Destination is on a need basis and we are very strategic about how we come out so it’s not just about flying an airline. We look at where the needs are and then we drive our resources towards that. Certainly, like I said before Ibom Air us here to differentiate itself and to make sure we are the regional airline of note, covering Nigeria nationally and in time to come well and to expand internationally as well.
On what Ibom Air brings to the table and its sustenance, the Group a Marketing Manager chalked it up to providing a different experience from the norm and showcasing service excellence.
“Our paramount aim for now is to give Nigerian travellers, everybody traveling within the Nigerian airspace, a different experience. The experience is scheduled reliability, on time departure and superior services. We want our passengers to break away from the norm of travel delays and tacky services, not to cast aspersions at anyone but we are bringing something different to the table.
“And what we are selling to our passengers is: you want to get somewhere on time you can count on us to get that to happen and that is the first thing we are pushing of course you know that the profit will come but when people know that they can trust us we will be assured that we will have the most passengers and the profit will come. As much as we are profit- driven, we are more particular about given an experience to outer passengers for now.”