Waves grounds all flights to ‘take stock of its position’
AFTER less than a year in operation, the airline Waves has announced that it will be grounding all flights until September to ‘take stock of its position’.
All passengers with existing bookings will be given a full refund or an opportunity to rebook.
Founder Nick Magliocchetti said the airline, which was billed as an Uber-style air taxi service for the Channel Islands when it was first launched, will use the time to refocus and hopefully strengthen its market position.
‘It has been a tumultuous 12 months,’ Mr Magliocchetti said. ‘We have overcome every obstacle placed in our way, but we felt that the time was right to take a pause.
‘Our priority now, as always, is our customers and we wish to apologise for the inconvenience caused by this news and reassure them that we will be back stronger than ever.’
Mr Magliocchetti said the company had hoped to ‘challenge the status quo’ with the introduction of an air taxi service.
However, several weeks after starting flights in October 2017 Waves was forced to change from an air taxi offering individual seats to a whole aircraft charter service after rival Blue Islands took Guernsey’s Transport Licensing Authority to court in a row over licences.
As a result Waves had to change its licences, which Mr Magliocchetti said had cost the company ‘momentum’ and had a detrimental effect on the business.
The Guernsey TLA ultimately gave Waves unrestricted route licences on the Guernsey-Jersey and Guernsey-Alderney routes. Waves then resumed selling individual seats. ‘Guernsey has been giving a loud and consistent message that it is open for business and keen to attract forward-thinking entrepreneurs to come and live and work in the island; to stimulate competition and growth,’ he said. ‘Arguably the environment within which Waves has had to work over the last 18 months runs counter to this message.’