Nigeria is set to witness the commencement of flight operations by Green Africa; an airline that promises to reshape the nation’s aviation’s aviation industry with its state-of-the art aircraft.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, industry analysts agree that the long-term potential in the Nigerian aviation market remains vibrant. With the right business model, fleet, and value proposition, new entrants can capture the attractive market opportunities.
Green Africa, owned by Babawande Afolabi, is now completing the process of acquiring the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) which will be issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), a required step before any airline can start flying passengers.
The latest news from the airline is the planned unveiling of its crew uniform tagged “The Runway” which will be made public in due course. The current view of their website (www.greenafrica.com) bears this information and those interested in viewing the virtual launch are encouraged to subscribe for viewing ahead.
In December 2020, the airline sent its pilots on a type-rating training. The pilots are Folu Oladipo (Chief Pilot), Victor Yem, John Ayerume, Stephen Okereke, Ladi Ogun, and Israel Eloho. While Green Africa is yet to provide detailed information about its launch and route network, the public continues to speculate ahead of its launch which the company says is on track for this year.
The company continues to scale-up the manpower required for the start of operations and some of the newly recruited cabin crew members (Adefolabi Ogunnaike, Rosemary Uagbor, Afolabi Modupe, Juliana Aku, Aderounmu Yetunde, Okere Ijeoma, Chieke Immaculate, and Abimbola Segun) were also recently sent for type-rating training.
According to a source at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) who is aware of the plans of the new carrier, he mentioned that “the airline is serious, they mean business and could start soon, as they are close to acquiring the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC)”.
This stance corroborates the statement of the Director-General of NCAA in late 2020 when he said the country could witness additional four airlines this year 2021. Green Africa continues to be on everyone’s lips in the industry as one of the airlines.
Green Africa being confident of all its scheduled plans, has given out 24 free tickets during the December 2020 promotion tagged “Tis the season to gIFT”. A cross-section of their social media pages shows a variety of winners, all from different walks of life which shows the airline is for everyone including those that currently take road transportation. This is a daring step that most airlines around the world take only when they are already in operations. This feat is a stamp of commitment to get into the air as soon as possible.
Before COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, Green Africa ordered fifty A220-300s from Airbus and also committed to leasing an additional three of the aircraft type from leasing company, GTLK Europe. This was in February 2020.
In October 2020, Green Africa formed a strategic partnership with First City Monument Bank (FCMB), which yielded $31 million in a combination of standby letter of credit and rolling working capital.
Green Africa is anchored by a group of senior industry leaders led by Tom Horton, former Chairman & CEO of American Airlines, Wale Adeosun, Founder & CEO of Kuramo Capital, William Shaw, CEO of InterJet, Virasb Vahidi, former CCO of American Airlines and Gbenga Oyebode, Founder & Chairman of Aluko & Oyebode.