Lagos, Nigeria-based Green Africa Airways announced a commitment for up to 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, 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.
"Today is a historic day for the Nigerian and African aviation industry," said Babawande Afolabi, founder & CEO, Green Africa Airways. "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."
Green Africa Airways, a value airline aims to offer safe, quality, and affordable air travel and be a significant contributor to the economic development of Nigeria and the African continent. The new airline 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.
"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," Vahidi said.
The airline initially plans to develop the Nigerian market and then build a Pan African network. According to Boeing's 20-year Commercial Market Outlook, airlines in Africa will require 1,190 new airplanes as the continent boosts both intra-continental and intercontinental connectivity during the next couple of decades.
"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," said Ihssane Mounir, Boeing’s senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing.
The 737 MAX has more than 4,800 orders from more than 100 customers worldwide. It features CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, and other airframe enhancements.