Green Africa is a value airline based in Lagos, Nigeria.
We are a new carrier that offers safe, reliable and affordable air travel to a much broader group of customers.
This positions us as a significant contributor to the economic development of Nigeria and the African continent.
How It Started
Growing up in Ile-Ife, Osun State, Babawande Afolabi was always fascinated by transportation.
The journey to where we are today started in 2011/2012 when Babawande was an Investment Banker at Morgan Stanley where he had an exposure to the transportation sector. This experience further galvanized his interest in the space, which led to the idea of exploring a Pan African value carrier based in Nigeria. He wanted everyone, including his teachers at Ambassadors College, Ile-Ife, to be able to hop on a plane at an affordable fare and chase their dreams.
In view of this idea, he dedicated his time as an MBA at Stanford GSB to learning more about the airline industry and took up a Summer Associate role at American Airlines in Dallas, TX.
During his time at Stanford, he had the opportunity to spend time with some of his professors in the industry including, Prof. George Parker, former Board Member, United Airlines, Prof. Joel Peterson, Former Chairman, JetBlue Airways and an alumnus, William Shaw, Founder and Former CEO of Viva Columbia. As an associate at American Airlines, he was introduced to Thomas Horton, Former Chairman & CEO and Virasb Vahidi, Former CCO of American Airlines Group.
All of these senior industry leaders supported Babawande in bringing his vision to life with William Shaw, Thomas Horton, and Virasb Vahidi later becoming early investors and founding members of the Board of Directors.
December 2013, Babawande sent a cold email to Oby Ezekwesili, former World Bank Vice President for Africa. Surprisingly, she responded and became the first senior leader in Nigeria to believe and throw her weight behind the vision of a new value airline in the country. During the same period, he came up with the name for the airline – Green Africa Airways while celebrating the holiday with his family in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
In 2014, a seed round of funding was raised primarily from Babawande’s friends, former colleagues and classmates from Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU) and Stanford GSB who contributed personal funds to support the vision.
In 2015, Green Africa was incorporated in Nigeria and in 2016, the first physical office was opened in Opebi, Lagos.
Through Kuramo Capital, Wale Adeosun made the first major institutional investment in Green Africa in 2017. Kuramo would later join hands with Par Capital Ventures and a seasoned group of global industry investors to back Green Africa with Series A round of funding between 2018 and 2019.
Moving Into Gear
In December 2018, Green Africa placed an order for up to 100 Boeing 737 Max aircraft making this the largest Boeing order from the African continent. This order was, however, canceled following the grounding of the aircraft by regulatory authorities across the globe for safety reasons. The 737 Max has since been ungrounded and back in service.
In February 2020, an order for 50 Airbus A220-300s was placed, however delivery has been deferred in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
To start operations in 2021, Green Africa has on lease agreement 3 ATR 72-600s from ACIA, and has plans to scale to up to 15 ATRs by the end of 2022. This will position Green Africa to become the largest operator of ATR in the region.
Green Africa is licensed by the Nigeria Government to operate Air Transport and received its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the NCAA in August 2021.
To use the power of air travel to create a better future.
To create a happy and better-connected world.
The gTeam is a group of top-notch professionals from all around the world with over 250 years of combined experience in the aviation industry and beyond.
Across all levels, Green Africa is committed to building a gTeam that will not only help scale Green Africa but also contribute to moving the Nigerian Aviation industry forward.
The gTeam is ever-growing with over 200 gTalents currently spread across the country and we are committed to offering our customers the best of services through our 5-point customer promise.
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, Founder and Former CEO of Viva Columbia, Virasb Vahidi, Former CCO of American Airlines, Gbenga Oyebode, Founder & Chairman of Aluko & Oyebode and Dave Dickson, Retired partner, EY.
Green Africa 5-Point Customer Promise
Our operations are hinged on our 5-point customer promise of Safety, Affordability, Service, Reliability and Fun.
We are Green Africa....welcome to the future.