Air taxi start-up Waves Technologies is gearing up for its formal inauguration in mid-November, having completed what it calls a “very successful soft launch” with family, friends and targeted local businesses.
Waves received its air operator's certificate from Guernsey's Director of Civil Aviation on 22 September, becoming the first commercial operator to be based on the Channel Islands.
The low-cost, per-seat, on-demand service connects the islands of Alderney, Guernsey and Jersey using a Cessna Grand Caravan single-engined turboprop – registration 2-CREW. “We have been overwhelmed by the positive response to the service so far,” says Waves' founder and chief executive, Nick Magliocchetti.
He calls the soft launch “a valuable testbed for the service going forward”. The company now plans to open it up to the wider Channel Islands population, which Magliocchetti says “have been waiting a long time for a service like this".
Waves is designed to plug the gap in the market between “expensive” ad hoc business aircraft charter operators and “inflexible” scheduled airlines. “There is plenty of demand for our service,” says Magliocchetti. “Our job now is to manage that demand, perfect the service and gradually scale up.”
Waves has options on two additional Grand Caravans, which it will add when "the time is right", Magliocchetti adds.
“We are not in a rush to grow the fleet," he says. "Our priority is making sure our service runs smoothly and our customers are happy."