Uber-style air-taxi service seeks 100,000 missing air passengers
A PLANNED Uber-style air-taxi service wants to recapture the 100,000 inter-island travel customers lost over the last decade and not steal business from existing airlines, the entrepreneur behind the venture has said.
Nick Magliocchetti, the chief executive of Waves, claims that his new inter-island airline, through which customers will be able to order flights on-demand online, is not a competitor to existing operators, such as Blue Islands and Aurigny, because it is offering a different type of service.
He was unable to confirm exactly when the service would start running, however, despite initial plans to be operating commercially before the end of this summer.
Waves aims to offer flat-rate flights between Jersey and Guernsey for £65 each way, as well as between Guernsey and Alderney for £45, and will operate small ten-seater aircraft through private hangars rather than airport terminals. Customers will be able to order flights through an Uber-style online app.
Mr Magliocchetti, who claims that the idea has not been tried anywhere else, said that the service was intended to entice customers who have lost their appetite for inter-island travel.
‘Ten years ago we had a quarter of a million people every year travelling between the islands. Today it is less than half that number at around 112,000. That’s a bad stat.
‘The reason why we have always said that Waves is not a competitor to the incumbents who are doing the inter-island routes is because we are not there to compete on the route based on what they are doing. We are offering an alternative,’ he said.
He added that he believed there were a number of reasons why inter-island travel had declined over the last ten years.
‘Exploring and talking to those who have chosen not to travel anymore we have identified the reasons for it,’ he said.
‘It was the normal stuff – bad scheduling, pricing, customer management, customer service. The response to that over the last ten years has been video-conferencing, people choosing not to go for lunch with their client in Jersey or Guernsey on a weekly basis, the family-of-four choosing not to go to Jersey or Guernsey for the weekend or just forgetting Alderney altogether.
‘What we have done is listen to this and we have built Waves to fill that gap. We are not here to steal market share from the incumbents – we are here to build back the 100,000 who are not travelling anymore.’