The founder of jetWest Airways, Dikko Nwachukwu, in a podcast with Jon Howell of AviaDev gave insights into the plans of jetWest’s team, the challenges and strategies being put in place to create an airline of choice for Nigerians in particular, and Africans in general over the next couple of years.
Nwachukwu, the former Chief Commercial Officer at AeroContractors, said that jetWest is currently being design in the image of the people as against its contemporaries whose branding are for few rich Nigerians. According to him, “we are creating a safe, consistent, reliable and fair airline that will cater for the need of over 60 million underserved Nigerians to choose from the services they want.”
He highlighted raising of capital as the principal challenge the company has been facing to crank its operations. He posited that foreign investors are not willing to take a risk on the Nigerian market because they deem it as very risky.
“We have 95% of our funding in place but the remaining 5% is all that is needed to get everything going. Without this 5%, nothing can commence”.
The former employee of Afrijet and Capital Airlines hinted that the airline, which is expected to commence operations in the first quarter of 2021, has settled for Airbus A220-300 because the aircraft is flexible for jetWest to achieve its short term objective of becoming the most profitable airline in Africa by 2025, and long term objective of becoming the largest air carrier in terms of passenger numbers by 2030.
“A220-300 will give us 40 – 50% advantage over the local carriers in our space of operation. We will be deploying technology to drive down cost operation, and make people who share in our passion the backbone of our business.
We will focus on training young people, engage in fiscal discipline and operational excellence in the delivery of our services at jetWest”, Dikko said.
He concluded by advising youths who aspire to start an entrepreneurial journey in the Africa aviation industry to gauge how hard the journey will be, maintain the right attitude when the going gets tough, and be prepared to work harder than they can ever imagined.