Nigeria’s startup airline, Green Africa Airways is reportedly “close to signing a deal” with Airbus for 100 aircraft. This is according to reports by the Wall Street Journal. The company previously planned to acquire Boeing’s controversial 737 Max.
In December 2018, Boeing Green Africa announced it had reached deal with Boeing an agreement with the Startup.
Lagos-based Green Africa Airways today announced a commitment for up to 100 737 MAX 8 aircraft, evenly split into 50 firm aircraft and 50 options, as the airline gears up to begin commercial operations. The total deal carries a list-price of $11.7 billion, the largest aircraft agreement from Africa, and will be reflected on Boeing’s Orders and Deliveries website once finalized. It reported in December 2018.
According to the WSJ, the deal could be announced today worsening the crisis faced by Boeing after two fatal crashes from its 737 Max Fleet. Green Africa Airways will buy Airbus A220 planes which seat about 130 passengers.
Green Africa Airways CEO, Babawande Afolabi, Founder & CEO, Green Africa Airways said in 2018 that the company’s “long-held dream of building a world-class airline that will unlock a new realm of positive possibilities for millions of customers.” Afolabi is a former investment banker with Morgan Stanley where he worked for about 2 years.
Green Africa Airways, has received its Air Transport License from the Nigerian government and is anchored by a group of senior industry leaders led by Tom Horton, former Chairman and CEO of American Airlines, William Shaw, Founder and former CEO of VivaColombia and Virasb Vahidi, former CCO of American Airlines. According to reports, the airline’s strategy is to first develop the Nigerian market and then ‘build a strong Pan African network.’
Last January, the startup announced erudite investor, Gbenga Oyebode was joining its founding board of directors. The company in May 2018 also announced the appointment of Caribbean Airlines VP-operations Jag Singh as COO and former JetBlue Airways VP-flight operations, Bart Roberts, as safety review board chairman.
A visit to Green Airways website indicates the company is still in its startup phase with no clear indication of when it starts to commence operations. The airline in July obtained Series A financing from several private equity investors led by Kuramo Capital Management.