Managing director of ValueJet, Capt Dapo Majekodunmi has said if the airline is to go international it will be by code sharing with airlines in the African region to give it a better reach.
This is just as he has given an insight as to why the airline chose the CRJ brand for its operations insisting it’s fuel efficiency and operational flexibility will help the airline meet its goals.
Majekodunmi made this known while revealing some of the airline’s plans beyond its domestic operations.
According to him, some of the African routes, particularly Ghana is saturated but there are still a lot of other places with potential.
The ValueJet boss said, “There are a lot of places on the West Coast with great potential. We don’t all have to fly to Ghana. You are starting to see overcapacity in that area. There are too many airlines there. We need to look at Africa to see how we can connect with the rest of the world.
” I would look into code sharing agreements with other airlines in Africa into Europe, Asia, and America. You all know Senegal is the closest part of Africa to Brazil and the United States. They have an airline that flies in that direction. I think if we want to go into international operations in the region, our operations will be to codeshare with other African airlines to give us better coverage of the world.
” It is not just going to Accra that will be our target; our target will be how to connect our passengers to the rest of the outside world Europe and America. North Africa flights can be a good codeshare into Europe.” He said.
On the airline’s preference for the CRJ, he cited fuel efficiency and the comfort of the technology.
He stated, ” Fuel efficiency is one of the key reasons; comfort and technology are behind it. 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.
“At the time they were using it, fuel was not as expensive as it is now. Steel and fuel were cheap in America at the time. American cars were known to be very big and poor on fuel. Today, the American market is all after fuel-efficient European cars. The Americans now know that it is either they make their cars more aerodynamic or their customers will settle for European cars.
“We have studied a situation whereby we maintain good safety, make some money and most importantly, let the passengers enjoy the quality of a streamlined aircraft; that was the birth of the CRJ 900 for ValueJet. The seat numbers are not that much, but 90 seats are just enough to serve over popular routes like Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Asaba, and Benin.