PROPOSED Nigerian airline Green Africa Airways has placed an eyebrow-raising order for 50 Airbus A220-300 aircrafts in what is a massive $117bn deal which when delivered will equip it to become a major player in the global aviation industry.
Founded by Nigerian entrepreneur Babawande Afolabi with former American Airlines chairman Tom Horton, its chief commercial officer Virasb Vahidi and William Shaw, the founder and former chief executive of VivaColombia on its board, Green Africa Airways will be Lagos-based. It is planning a massive launch soon and has placed the orders for the aircrafts, which when delivered will make an instant major global player.
Green Africa Airways has a brand identity designed by Pentagram, drawing on elements of Nigerian and African heritage. Its website, aircraft livery and cabin crew uniform will soon be officially launched, with its brand identity.
Mr Afolabi said: “Together with Airbus, we are incredibly proud to announce the largest order ever for the A220 from the African continent. The Green Africa story is a story of entrepreneurial boldness, strategic foresight and an unwavering commitment to using the power of air travel to create a better future.”
Christian Scherer, Airbus’s chief commercial officer, added:“We are excited about the Green Africa project, its legitimate ambition and its professionalism, evidenced by their most discerning choice for their operating assets. The unique characteristics of the A220 will allow the airline to unlock destinations and route pairs that previously would have been considered non-viable.
“We look forward to our partnership with Green Africa and to accompany their development with the most efficient aircraft in its class The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market as it delivers unbeatable fuel efficiency and a wide-body passenger comfort in a single-aisle aircraft.”
While the airline’s launch routes include Lagos, Abuja and a number of other regional Nigerian cities such as Yola and Port Harcourt, Green Africa Airways may also decide to fly to regional destinations such as Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and South Africa in the future. It is not yet clear if it plans to fly to Europe and North America yet.