Airbus to sign deal with Nigerian Startup Airline, Green Africa Airways
Nigeria’s startup airline, Green Africa Airways is reportedly in talks with European plane maker, Airbus in a bid to sign 100 aircraft deal.
The deal, which could be announced today, Thursday, February 13, 2020, will see the carrier buy Airbus A220 planes which seat about 130 passengers.
Boeing in December 2018 said it had a commitment from the carrier for 100 737 MAX jets. That agreement came before the 737 MAX fleet was grounded last March after two fatal crashes. The MAX fleet has been idled since, as Boeing works on fixes to the plane.
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 will commence operations. The airline in July obtained Series A financing from several private equity investors led by Kuramo Capital Management.