NIGERIA – Green Africa Airways, Nigeria’s startup airline, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with European multinational aerospace corporation, Airbus for 50 A220-300 aircraft.

The order according to Airbus is one of the major orders to be placed globally for the A220 programme and the largest ever from the African continent.

“Together with Airbus, we are incredibly proud to announce the largest order ever for the A220 from the African continent,” said Babawande Afolabi, Founder & CEO of Green Africa Airways.

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer, speaking from the Singapore Airshow, said: “We are excited about the Green Africa project, its legitimate ambition and its professionalism, evidenced by their most discerning choice for their operating assets.”

Scherer observed that 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,” added Sherer.

The A220 is an aircraft that has been purposely built for the 100-150 seat market and it is known to  deliver unbeatable fuel efficiency.

The aircraft which is a widebody, a single-aisle aircraft brings together state-of-the-art aerodynamics and is made from advanced materials.

The aircraft’s is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation PW1500G geared turbofan engines which offer at least 20 percent lower fuel burn per seat compared to previous-generation aircraft.

The engines also feature significantly lower emissions and a reduced noise footprint, according to Airbus.

Airbus also says that the aircraft which as at the end of January 2020, the A220 had accumulated 658 orders offers the performance of larger single-aisle aircraft.

Green Africa Airways secured its Air Services Licence (ASL) from the Nigerian Ministry of Transport in mid-2018 and is now in the process of obtaining its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

In December 2018, the start-up announced a tentative order for fifty B737-8s with a further fifty options.

It is however unclear if the carrier has decided to switch to A220s due to the grounding of the Boeing narrow-bodies or if it plans to operate both types alongside each other.