Green Africa Airways, a start-up Nigerian airline, said it has ordered up to 100 B737 Max 8 aircrafts from Boeing. The order was evenly split into 50 firm aircrafts and 50 options, as the airline gears up to begin commercial operations.
The deal, which is worth $11.7 billion is the largest aircraft agreement from Africa. The airline said it aims to offer safe, quality and affordable air travel and be a significant contributor to the economic development of Nigeria and the African continent.
According to the Founder and CEO of Green Africa Airways, Babawande Afolabi, “today is a historic day for the Nigerian and African aviation industry. This landmark deal takes us much closer to our long-held dream of building a world-class airline that will unlock a new realm of positive possibilities for millions of customers. Broadly speaking, this deal is a bold symbol of the dynamism, resilience and soaring entrepreneurial drive of the next generation of Nigerians and Africans”.
The Nigerian government has granted the new airline its Air Transport License. The company 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.
Vahidi said “Nigeria is uniquely positioned to be the home of the next major value airline. The strategic partnership with Boeing positions Green Africa Airways to expand and improve air travel for customers in Nigeria, and further strengthens the relationship between the United States, Nigeria and Africa”.
Boeing’s 20-year Commercial Market Outlook revealed that airlines in Africa will require 1,190 new airplanes as the continent boosts both intra-continental and intercontinental connectivity over the next couple of decades. In response to this, Green Africa Airways said it will develop the Nigerian market, before moving on to build a strong Pan African network.
Ihssane Mounir, the Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales and Marketing at The Boeing Company said “the growth potential for air travel across Nigeria and Africa is extraordinary with the airplane fleet expected to more than double over the next 20 years. We are delighted that Green Africa Airways has selected the 737 MAX to serve this expanding market”.