In this episode of the Help with my visa! Podcast we talk hiring to Harold Okwa, the Founder and Managing Director of Jetseta about solving the logistical challenges frequent traveller face when moving around West Africa by hiring private jets.
You can check out the full podcast interview on our YouTube channel by clicking the video below, or if you’d like the audio-only version it’s available from where you get all your favourite podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.
Founded in late-2015, Jetseta was originally described as the ‘Uber of the Skies’ due to the way its app connects people looking to travel around West Africa with spare capacity on private jets and helicopters. The company has since evolved to become much more than an air taxi service and now operates chartered private airline flights along some of the busiest routes in West Africa, such as the Abuja-Lagos route in Nigeria.
On the podcast you can hear Harold tell the story of how Jetseta came to be, who typically uses the service and how they’re solving a major logistical challenge in the West Africa region.
The Idea Behind Jetseta
The idea for Jetseta came to Harold when a number of different things collided.
Harold traveled extensively for business and was a regular on the Abuja-Lagos route in Nigeria, as well as frequently travelling around West Africa. Flights in that part of the world are notorious for their delays, and flying between the major cities of the region can take literally a full week out of your life due to infrequent connections.
The local recession and oil price crash of 2016 had also grounded fleets of private aircraft, and it was on one such business trip when Harold, his flight delayed, noticed these private jets just sitting grounded on the tarmac.
After making enquiries with several private aircraft owners, Harold came up with the idea of Jetseta, a platform that could connect these idle private jets and their crews with people who wanted a more reliable, frequent and flexible way of travelling around West Africa.
Today, Jetseta is a fast-growing business and has established chartered routes around West Africa, as well as still operating the on-demand service that originally garnered it the nickname the ‘Uber of the Skies’.
Private Jets Aren’t Just for the Rich and Famous
A striking discovery Harold made was that flying on a private aircraft can be surprisingly good value for money.
Businesspeople in West Africa typically face gruelling logistical challenges when traveling around the region due to the infrequent flights between major business hubs. Harold says that travelling from Nigeria to Cameroon for a 1-hour business meeting can take a full week of your life due to the times commercial carriers fly, which require several overnight stays.
So paying extra for the convenience – and of course, the comfort – of a private jet makes a lot of sense if you can reduce the time spent on the road from a full week down to just a day or two.
Harold also notes that oil companies and other energy industry players also find the flexibility Jetseta offers very convenient, especially when they need to get somewhere fast that isn’t well served by commercial airlines, such as the Lagos-Port Harcourt route in Nigeria.
UK Travel Corridors
But it’s not just West Africa Jetseta serves.
The company now flies as far afield as the UK, with routes from Nigeria to London Stansted that offer travellers a COVID-19-safe travel option where pilots and crew remain in the UK for 14 days in quarantine before heading back to Nigeria. Customers can therefore fly to the UK on one jet, quarantine and then go about their business before catching the next plane home.
And even though COVID-19 has decimated most of the aviation industry, Jetseta is actually seeing increased demand for its private jet services.
Harold explains that the smaller aircraft, fewer passengers and use of private terminals at most airports make the Jetseta service more appealing than flying on a major airline with hundreds of other people. With the surprisingly affordable price point for flying on a private jet, businesspeople and tourists in West Africa are turning to Jetseta for their air travel needs.
Booking Flights with Jetseta
Jetseta still takes booking through its app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play, but Harold says that since they opened up an email and telephone enquiry service, most people prefer booking these ways.
So if you’d like to find out more about the services Jetseta offers – or book a flight – you can contact Jetseta directly via their website or through one of their social channels on Facebook or Twitter.
Jetseta can put together an itinerary to suit your needs, either travelling on a chartered aircraft or booking a jet just for you and your travel party.
Apply for a UK Visa on Help with my visa!
And if you’re a Nigeria national looking to travel to the UK on a Jetseta charter we can help you apply for the right visa at Help with my visa! We have a number of UK-based professional immigration advisers who can handle your entire UK visa application, including Daniel Metibemu at 1st UK Immigration Lawyers-DM Law Practice.
You can checkout Daniel’s range of services and book a consultation with him on Help with my visa! within 3 minutes. Just click the button below and select the kind of visa you need then book a virtual appointment to start the process.