Two Akwa Ibomites, a journalist Etim Etim and music artiste, IceKyng on Wednesday morning saved passengers and crew aboard Ibom Air from a humiliating moment; experiencing a prolonged flight delay, the first recorded by the airline company since it began operations.
Recall, Ibom Air which was launched early this year by governor Udom Emmanuel has been known for its convenience, reliability, comfort and time conscious compared to other airline companies operating in Akwa Ibom, as shared by various passengers.
For the first time, things almost went south for Nigeria’s newest and first State-owned airline company, an experience shared by Etim who was among the first five to board the 8am flight from Uyo to Abuja, which turned out was overbooked, possibly due to the Swearing-In of Ministers in the Capital City.
“Two checked-in passengers had no seat, and they were not ready to disembark, as the crew pleaded, and pleaded and blamed the problem on a glitch in the server. This caused a delay in the flight and this got all the senior management staff of the airline to get on board to beg, still, the passengers refused. There were tension, deadlock and logjam.”
It’s now 45 minutes since we all boarded, and the plane was idling away. The cost implication is high. The pilots and crew were visibly disturbed, angry and ruffled. I felt pity for them and the airline. So IceKyd the musician and I gave up our seats and disembarked, to break the deadlock and get the plane to fly. It was getting to an hour of delay. There was a huge sigh of relief as we left. I then joined Airpeace and landed in Abuja three hours later.”
“The airline management staff has been thanking IceKyng and me, explaining that this was the most humiliating moment since they opened for business in April. I’m happy that I was part of the solution to that problem.”