January 25, (THEWILL) – Nigerian start-up airline, Value Jet has concluded arrangements to extend flight services to Jos, the Plateau State Capital by the first week of February 2023
Already, Value Jet operates scheduled flight services from Lagos, which is its hub, to Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Benin, and Asaba while also keeping an eye on Akure, Yola, Kano, and Gombe.
Managing Director of the airline, Capt Dapo Majekodunmi, who disclosed the plans in an interview recently, insisted that Nigerian passengers deserve more from both domestic and foreign airlines.
The aviator also pointed out that, if Value Jet wants to go international operations in the region, their operations will be to codeshare with other African airlines to make a better coverage of the world.
A codeshare agreement is a business arrangement, common in the aviation industry, in which two or more airlines publish and market the same flight under their own airline designator and flight number as part of their published timetable or schedule.
According to him, It is not just going to Accra that will be their target but also working out how to connect their passengers to the rest of the outside world such as Europe and America, adding that “North Africa flights can be a good codeshare into Europe”.
Although, codeshare arrangements have not been that easy in Nigeria but the Value Jet MD believes that codesharing is better with a proper understanding.
“Once we can have the platform, the airline can work with it. I think the biggest issue will be how to process the clearing house. It’s workable. You just have to fine-tune the agreement and see where the grey areas might be. That is a direction the operator should all look at. It’s working well with Air France- KLM,” he advised.
Capt Majekodunmi also advised that there is a need to build airports in routes around Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ikenne, Ijebu, and so on, adding that most people coming into Lagos don’t live in the city but usually transit to the neighbouring towns
“We need to go there and try to give our best services to win the passengers to fly Value Jet. You will find many passengers coming to Lagos, who don’t live in Lagos. Don’t be surprised that a reasonable percentage of them are going to places like Abeokuta, Ibadan, Ikenne, Ijebu, and so on. Those are things we believe the questionnaire should tell us. The government can then start thinking of putting airports in the area. That is what we should be advising as aviators.”
On why the airline settled for CRJ aircraft type, Majekodunmi informed that fuel efficiency is one of the key reasons. Others are comfort and technology, which are behind that particular aircraft.
Explaining further, he said “The CRJ aircraft technology is friendly to the pilots. Most airlines fly the common B737. They all thought they were doing the right thing when the aviation gas Jet A1 was selling for as low as N100 per litre compared to today’s N800 per litre. Secondly, the flight trips around Nigeria are all in the region of a one-hour flight. The regional flights are in the region of three hours. With the CRJ’s excellent fuel consumption of five hours + endurance with full tanks with the capability of 90 passengers, that’s the magic aircraft for this region”.
The MD noted that the passengers also need to help the operators serve them better by giving them feedback. With feedback, the pilot stressed that airlines will know what they are doing wrong and move in the right direction, a situation that would move them out of their comfort zone.
On their 100 days of office, he said “One hundred days is just another day for us. We will be working every other day after the 100 days to make our operations better. Every day that comes is a day we have to look at what next to do to give our passengers that satisfaction.”