ValueJet the Nigerian startup airline that made headlines with its “first flight free” promotion, is now making waves in the cargo industry. The airline has successfully secured its first CRJ200 converted freighter, marking a significant milestone for both the carrier and West Africa’s cargo operations.
The aircraft, bearing the registration 5N-CBZ, was ferried from the United States and arrived in Nigeria on May 21, 2023, adorned with the distinctive colors of the Nigerian carrier. This accomplishment marks an important step for ValueJet as it aims to establish the first dedicated cargo operation in West Africa.
Earlier this year, in January, ValueJet expressed its ambition to tap into Nigeria’s domestic air cargo industry. The airline’s Managing Director, Omololu Majekodunmi, unveiled plans to acquire three CRJ200 converted freighters in the third quarter of 2023, positioning ValueJet as a pioneer in West Africa’s freighter operations. The latest development reinforces the airline’s commitment to diversify its services and cater to the growing demand for cargo transportation.
ValueJet, which commenced passenger operations in last October from Lagos, currently operates three CRJ900 aircraft. The fleet consists of two owned CRJ900s and one leased CRJ900LR from Regional One, according to ch-aviation’s advanced fleet data. With the addition of the CRJ200 freighters, ValueJet aims to leverage its existing infrastructure and expand its cargo network strategically.
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The MD Omololu Majekodunmi commented on the airline’s progress since its inception, stating, “At our 100-day mark, we have been able to stabilize our operations, understand the market, and accommodate passengers’ preferred travel demands into our schedule.” He further emphasized the airline’s vision of making flying affordable for everyone while maintaining an on-time departure rate above 95%.
ValueJet plans to concentrate on six primary stations, including Lagos, Abuja, Benin City, Asaba, Port Harcourt Omagwa, and Jos. The airline intends to gradually expand its route network, keeping a watchful eye on destinations such as Akure, Yola, Kano, and Gombe, which hold great potential for growth.