A new Nigerian start-up airline, Green Africa Airways is ordering 100 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircrafts with a whooping price tag of $11.7 billion dollars.
The carrier founder and CEO is Babawande Afolabi – a former investment banker with Morgan Stanley. The new airline is set to be the biggest single West African carrier, and Boeing says the order is the single largest order of any African carrier with the world aircraft maker.
The orders are split into 50 firm orders and 50 options.
They are set to begin commercial operations soon in Nigeria.
Current industry leader, Airpeace, owned by Chief Allen Onyema from Anambra State, in September ordered from the Boeing 10 similar aircrafts at $1.17 billion, celebrated then one of the single largest orders. Airpeace currently has a fleet size of 22.
Onyema, already decrying difficulties with regulatory authorities, may soon be completely eclipsed by the new entrant, Mr. Afolabi and his partners.
Expressing his excitement about the order, Afolabi said of the order, “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.”
“This deal is a bold symbol of the dynamism, resilience and soaring entrepreneurial drive of the next generation of Nigerians and Africans,”
World aviation is keeping their focus on the African emerging markets as the area of its biggest growth in the near future. In Boeing’s 20-year Commercial Market Outlook, it forecasts that the airline industry in Africa will require 1,190 new planes, as the continent continues to grow both intra-continental and intercontinental connectivity.
With both orders in the last couple of months, the Nigerian market is set to receive 110 brand-new 737 MAX planes over the next few years—revamping a lacklustre industry in Nigeria which hadn’t seen a major airline global player after the days of Nigeria Airways.