Air expansion plans

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Last week the operator announced that 140 pre-arranged inter-island flights had been cancelled to enable the company to refocus and hopefully strengthen its market position.

The airline, which was billed as an Uber-style air taxi service for the Channel Islands when it was first launched in January last year, was the subject of a judicial review earlier this year.

Instigated by Blue Islands, the review resulted in Waves needing to apply for a licence in order to accept single bookings.

Waves founder Nick Magliocchetti said the coming months were an optimal time to realign the business. The whole licensing [incident] had an impact in 2018. The repercussions of this have meant that we know now that we want to focus on the resilience of our fleet and staff,’ he said.

‘There have been no staff losses, but we are looking to employ more. Our focus is around customer service.’

Last year it was announced that the airline would seek to grow its fleet of one – a single-engine Cessna Grand Caravan – with the purchase of two extra aircraft.

The purchase did not go ahead, as the judicial review meant Waves was unable to retrieve potential investment pledged via the online investment platform Seedrs, which operates in a similar manner to ‘crowdfunding’ sites.

Waves’ Seedrs campaign went live in November 2017.

‘We spent around two-and-a-half months in due diligence and preparation for the launch of our campaign,’ Mr Magliocchetti said.

‘We got to our required target [£495,001] within four days of going live. We achieved more than that [£510,429]. During the Seedrs process, Waves was named as an interested party in the judicial review taken by Blue Islands against the Transport Licensing

‘We had to move from a price per seat model to a chartered model. This fundamentally changed our model at the time.’

Mr Magliocchetti added that Waves and Seedrs agreed that as the business model had changed significantly, the campaign should be closed, the investors refunded and told that there was a possibility to contact Waves directly to invest should they choose to. ‘I don’t think we’ll be going down the crowdfunding route again,’ he said.

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