MIAMI – Green Africa Airways (Q9) is starting operations with a fleet of ATR72-600 aircraft and is looking for pilots, possibly awaiting delivery of Airbus A220-300. Based in Lagos-Murtala Mohammed (LOS), the low-cost airline obtained its operating license in 2017.
Worldairlinenews.com, reports that Q9 has received its first ATR72-600 registered 5N-GAA, on lease from ACIA Aero Leasing, but network and timetables are not yet available, confirmed by Alternative Airlines website, which also indicated that services are to begin in 2021, first on the domestic market awaiting expansion on the international African sector. Q9 expects two additional aircraft to be delivered by ACIA in a near future.
Boeing Project Canceled, Airbus MoU signed
Green Africa Airways has also made news during the 2020 Singapore Air Show when the airline canceled a project order for 50 Boeing 737 Max and announced having signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 50 A220-300 aircraft. The French newspaper Le Point, which reported the event, did not mention any possible delivery date.
On February 13, Airbus, with a dedicated press release confirmed the signing of an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Q9, on 50 aircraft, the biggest order in Africa of the A220 type valued at US$3.5bn. Q9 is the fourth and biggest African client for Airbus A220, preceded by Egyptair (MS) with 12 aircraft, Air Tanzania (TC) with four, and Air Senegal (HC) with 8. There was no mention of the delivery date.
“We are extremely proud to announce with Airbus the largest ever A220 order on the African continent. Green Africa’s story is one of bold entrepreneurship, strategic vision, and a strong commitment to leveraging the power of air travel to create a better future,” said Babawande Afolabi, founder and CEO of Q9.
Pilots Being Recruited
However, in January 2021, Newsaero, while announcing that Q9 was recruiting pilots, also indicated that Babawande Afolabi, Q9 CEO, had decided to start operations on a smaller scale while a member of the airline directorate hinted at “the withdrawal of some investors who no longer intended to commit to the project, albeit ambitious, while the Covid 19 pandemic no longer guarantees the security of investments.”
The first ATR arrived at LOS on Friday, April 23, and was met by Babawande Afolabi, Founder and CEO, Neil Mills, President and COO, Princesse Likayi, Director of Talent &Culture, Folu Oladipo, Chief Pilot, Nathan Smith, Director of Maintenance &Engineering, Jasmine Dhillon, Director of Cabin Services, Rebecca Bolarinwa, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, Gbenga Oyebode, Board Member of Green Africa’s Investor KuramoCapital.
Featured image: Green Africa Airways ATR72-600 5N-GAE – Photo: Michael Combrink@ORTIASpotter