• Monday, February 26, 2024
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ValueJet mulls expansion of cargo operations to West Coast

… leverages passenger processes, on-time departure for growth in 1yr

Having operated for 365 days, ValueJet, one of Nigeria’s airlines has revealed plans to expand cargo operations to West Coast countries by interlining with other carriers with similar vision, codeshare, and providing the executive charter operations.

The airline also plans to explore regional operations soon.

These plans were disclosed by Omololu Majekodunmi, the Managing Director of ValueJet, while celebrating the airline’s one year operations in Nigeria.

His words, “We are happy to have this many passengers to have experienced us in the 365 days of celebration, as of the past year, we had projected what the industry should be expecting from a startup airline like ValueJet.

Read also: Plateau State, ValueJet sign MoU to sustain flight services to Jos

“We have surpassed most of the expectations by concentrating on very high standards of airport passenger processes, on-time Departure (OTD), and onboard service attendance. This is also together with consistent and high standards of staff service across both the airport and onboard service environments.”

He disclosed that in the second year, the carrier would be open to expansion of its cargo operations to the West Coast, interlining with other carriers with similar vision, codeshare, and providing the executive charter operations.

He equally stated that ValueJet would explore regional operations but noted that it would be carefully done to avoid problems that come with the overgrowth of fleets and routes in a short period of time.

“There has been lots of state government demand to start operations into their airports. We are sensitive to starting with those with great economic potential. Plateau state has been one with agricultural potential.”

The airline chief revealed that the carrier was about to open talks with an undisclosed airline in Africa that is interested in a partnership with ValueJet because of the products it offers which gives it an edge over its competitors, especially in On-Time Departure (OTD).

He advised airlines to shelve the idea of going it alone if they truly want to be profitable and reliable as airlines, hinting that his carrier is open for talks.

Majekodunmi described competition as healthy for the business, stressing that the airline was on the verge of formalizing an interline agreement with a domestic airline.

“Code sharing within the airlines in an alliance is healthy for the industry but first things should be put in place. Airlines clearinghouse and others are needful. This will help to strengthen and expand the airline’s presence and reduce wastage on seats.”

He called on the Federal Government to assist the growth of the airline business in Nigeria by equipping all airports or many of the airports with night facility equipment for late-night operations, saying that runway lighting would help the operators to have maximum utilization on their aircraft.

This according to him would also put an end or reduce to the barest minimum delayed flights or flight cancellations.

“Airlines would not be struggling to serve such airports before they close at 6 pm. All flights will be properly spread for the day. There will be nothing like if you can’t land at the airport before 5 pm, everyone would have to wait for the next day.”

The bilateral agreements between nations to operate within each one’s states is where the Nigerian operators should put resources together and come up with something tangible.

The airline had in August this year signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Plateau State, by which the young carrier committed to providing connectivity between the state capital, Jos, and the federal capital, Abuja.

Gyang Davou Jatau, the Plateau State Commissioner of Transportation who represented Caleb Mutfwang, the governor, viewed the provision of ValueJet flights to Abuja as critical for the economic development of Plateau State, which has a lack of air connectivity while road transportation was unsafe.

With a total of four airplanes and with many more to arrive in the coming months it is exciting to see how the airline will grow tremendously, he said.

ValueJet operates from Lagos to Abuja, Port Harcourt, Jos, and Asaba.

Read  also: ValueJet bags most promising airline award

Though relatively new, ValueJet has positively impacted Nigeria’s domestic airline scene positively. The company’s business model is poised to ensure that Nigerians have access to affordable flights through competitive pricing.

With a long-term vision and growth mindset, it has set its sights on the coming years to expand beyond the Nigerian airspace.

It is building a cost-conscious business with an understanding of the sector and how Nigeria is poised to play a key role in developing Africa’s aviation by joining the rest of the global players in regional and international markets.

When the airline took to the skies on October 10, 2022, not many gave it a chance because of the high turnover of airlines in the country.

But the last year has been fruitful and rewarding to the carrier as the airline which started small the days of little beginnings is fast becoming the first choice of many travelers because of its on-time departures, neatness of its aircraft cabins, sound business model, a futuristic partnership among others.