ValueJet airline begins local operations, targets eight destinations
•Debuts with free tickets, low-cost fares
It was pomp in Lagos on Tuesday as a new scheduled carrier, ValueJet Airline, rolled out operations with some interesting packages to cheer up the troubled local travellers.
Smarting from the challenges of fare hike, the start-up – a hybrid model that combines features of low-cost and legacy carriers – offers local air travellers some of the cheapest airfares, beginning from Monday.
At the colourful unveiling, the airline said the venture targets some of other 95 per cent Nigerians that had never had opportunity to fly, either due to high fares or capacity.
And to mark its grand entry, the carrier is offering customers free tickets on its first set of flights.
Chairman of ValueJet, Adekunle Soname, said the company’s business model is poised towards ensuring that Nigerians have access to affordable flights through competitive pricing.
Soname said: “Our mission is to reinvent air travel with our unique value proposition of safety, comfort, convenience, experience, and high value for money. We are pleased to be able to make air travel more affordable to everyone, underlined by our payoff line, ‘Wings for Everyone’.
“ValueJet is hardly a stranger in the industry, and all operational insights from previous partnerships have been applied in building our business plan and propositions. We have identified a niche in the sector, the need for fair pricing amidst the rising cost of commercial aviation to the average customer, compounded by tough economic realities for air operators. Tough times are for us to get even tougher.” The airline hinted that customers who book round trips between October 4 and 9 would have their first flight free on ValueJet. However, this offer is only valid for flights between October 10 and November 9, 2022.
At the moment, the airline operates to and fro Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Asaba airports. Expanded operations before the month’s end will cover Warri, Benin, Yola, Jos and Owerri.
“Our fleet of modern and efficient CRJ 900 aircraft is ready. We can boast of a resolute professional workforce, which is among the best in the industry to deliver end-to-end customer experience backed by modern technology.
“With a long-term vision and growth mindset, we have set our sights on the coming years to expand beyond the Nigerian airspace. We are in a privileged position despite existing economic headwinds. We are 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,” Soname said.
The airline that was founded in 2018, lately took delivery of three CRJ900 jets, 5N-BXS, 5N-BXT and 5N-BXR, and concluded all required demo flights to earn the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and Air Transport Licence (ATL).
Managing Director of ValueJet, Capt. Omololu Majekodunmi added that ValueJet was founded with a mission to make air travel affordable to everyone, and a vision to build a global airline, connecting people with places through modern air travel.
“Offering end-to-end customer experience backed by up-to-date technology, the airline is made up of dedicated and passionate people who are committed to providing the best-in-class service to its customers,” Majekodunmi said.
Chief Commercial Officer, Trevor Henry, who spoke on the airline’s initial route network, said ValueJet would on Monday start with a Lagos-Abuja flight twice daily in the interim, while Port Harcourt and Asaba will start with a flight daily. At full swing, the airline targets about 20 flights daily.