Nigeria’s 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.
Boeing said in an official statement that 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 based in Lagos, Nigeria 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 strong Pan African network. According to Boeing’s 20-year Commercial Market Outlook, airlines in Africa will require 1,190 new aeroplanes as the continent boosts both intra-continental and intercontinental connectivity over the next couple of decades.
“The growth potential for air travel across Nigeria and Africa is extraordinary with the aeroplane 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, Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales & Marketing, The Boeing Company. “We look forward to Green Africa Airways building their fleet with the MAX and taking advantage of the jet’s efficiency and dependability to open new options across Nigeria and the African continent. Boeing will be a trusted partner to Green Africa Airways as the MAX is introduced into their operations and through their long-term success.”
The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history, accumulating more than 4,800 orders from over 100 customers worldwide. The airplane’s superior performance is enabled by the latest technology in the single-aisle market, including advanced CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, and other airframe enhancements.
Green Africa Airways is a value airline that is looking to operate in a market with challenges but huge growth potential. According to industry analysts, just about 1% of the Nigerian population travel by air. In a country of 180 million people with a large land mass, industry experts said the upside potential far outweighs the risks and bottlenecks in the market.