My unbiased review of First Nation Airways

[UPDATE]: I have written a follow-up post on how to book First Nation Airways Flight. It’s over here

On the 3rd of November, I experienced a great disappointment with my regular airline. Sincerely, I was almost frustrated. I was at the ABV airport for over 7 hours. However, First Aviation Airways compensated for the delays. I was told that First Nation Airways commenced operation the same day (November 3, 2011). So,  First Nation Airways is our Aviation industry’s last born.

Their fleet currently include 3 Airbus A320-200 while they expect 6 more aircrafts to be delivered before the end of December, 2011.

PROS

When we boarded the Airbus, almost all the passengers commented that it looked like an international flight to them. In fact, the old man that sat next to me didn’t stop talking about the world class service we received until we got to Lagos.

The amazing Airbus boasts of leather sits for both Business Class cabin and the Economy cabins. On some other airlines I have tried, leather sits are limited to Business Class passengers

I flew economy, but I must confess that the service I received made me feel like it was Business/First Class. We were given rice and a choice drink, unlike other airline that give cake or pie. One other thing I love about the aircraft is its public GPS Navigation System. This displays the speed at which the aircraft is moving and the altitude at which it’s flying. It also displays the outside temperature. This system also displays the route of the aircraft in real time.

From the counter down to the aircraft, all their staff were great. One of their staff even attempted to help me when the ATM Machines at the ABV airport couldn’t dispense cash.

CON

  • No Online Booking: As at this morning, First Nation Airways has still not made their website accessible to everyone. Therefore, it means that you won’t be able to book your flights online. This is a major disadvantage for someone like. I prefer to book my flights online and even check in online before getting to the airport. This makes me avoid the queue at the airport. I was able to speak to a senior staff at the ABV airport about it and he promised that the site will be live before the end of this week. He then gave me the URL of the proposed booking portal to be www.flyfirstnation.com.
  • Passengers found it difficult to locate their sit: This is due to the fact that it many of the passenger’s first time in the Airbus. Many of us are used to the Boeing series used by major airlines in the country.  Due to the size of the aircraft, the host(ess) could not help all the passengers in locating their sits. For instance, the old man that sat next to me shouldn’t have been there. The solution therefore is that First Nation Airways need to get more host(ess) to help first time passengers in locating their sits.
SUGGESTION
The management of First Nation needs to find a way to increase their brand awareness. Honestly, I expected to see First Nation’s “Coming Soon” airport ads, newspapers ads and the likes before they commenced operations. This would have raised the expectation of Nigerian air travelers about them. So, they won’t be surprised when they see them at the airport counter for the first time. Take for instance, a lot of people were surprised to see First Nation at the ABV airport counter last thursday. In fact, people made jest of me when I decided to purchase my ticket, trust me! The reason for this is because almost all air travellers never expected to see First Nation Airways. Customers are more likely to buy a product they’re already aware of. Anyway, I don’t know if releasing “Coming Soon” adverts is against the industry’s rules and regulation.
Asides that, now that First Nation Airways should use Google ads targeted at Nigerian Internet Users. Facebook ads will also be effective. The advert should make it clear that the use Airbus A320-200 since they are the only local airline that have this type of aircraft.
I have many other suggestions for First Nation; but I’ll save them for a later post or a direct mail to the management of First Nation Airways.

CONCLUSION

If First Nation Airways continue this kind of service, then other operators will have to upgrade their services to be able compete with them. What I experienced is just great for Economy Class. I believe the Business Class passengers had similar great experience too. I recommend them for every classy traveler.

Technopreneur. Chief Hustler at 1Plify. PhD scholar [Technology entrepreneurship]

2 comments On My unbiased review of First Nation Airways

  • i never knew they were active or even ever going to be.I once saw their jet on the tarmac and i thought it was one of those abandoned projects by the government because of the name it bears..’the nation’..
    My suggestion for brand awareness for them would be; they should work on getting affiliated with their targets’ interests areas..i cant count how many events ranging from comedy to football to charity to fashion that a company like DANA air co-sponsored and powered..also there should be digital ads..we love colours in naija..
    pls tobi,u cud put in ur mail that they cud penetrate the market with a very attractive USP which would be giving discounts to minors(under 18)..this is efective in other countries but not in naja..we love freebies!!!

  • …i just believe in this “Jet Age”, some foundational things should be done beforehand prior to venturing…otherwise, why venture in the first place, then waste your time, effort and resources, and that of your potential customers….Air nigeria should better wake up…HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF EVEN IF ITS IN SOME OTHER FORM…BEWARE!!!! ….AND GOOD LUCK!

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