Nigerian start-up budget carrier Green Africa Airways has committed to leasing three Airbus A220-300s from GTLK Europe, the Ireland-registered arm of Russia’s State Transport Leasing Corporation (abbreviated to GTLK in Russian), the lessor has confirmed to Russian Aviation Insider.
The aircraft will allow the airline to launch commercial operations this year ahead of the delivery of the 50 A220-300s (formerly the Bombardier CSeries) it contracted with Airbus in mid-February, and which are scheduled to become available in 2021. “We have secured an inaugural fleet with GTLK Europe that will help bridge the gap between now and when our Airbus order book starts delivering next year,” comments Babawande Afolabi, chief executive of Green Africa.
Deliveries of the three initial aircraft – which are all brand new – will be completed by August 2020, says the airline, which positions itself as a “value airline” and hopes to “offer safe, reliable and affordable air travel to a much broader group of customers.”
Roman Lyadov, GTLK Europe’s chief executive, states: “We are delighted to be able to provide Green Africa with its very first aircraft which will equip Green Africa with the capacity it needs for launch in 2020.”
According to January 2020 Airbus data, the manufacturer has now delivered six of the airliners to GTLK Europe, which has contracted for 14 units of the type from the European planemaker.
The Airbus aircraft portfolio also lists another Russian lessor, Ilyushin Finance Co (IFC), as a customer for 14 of the A220-300 jets.
Founded and led by Babawande Afolabi, Green Africa has received its Air Transport Licence from the Nigerian government. The airline is anchored by a group of senior industry professionals led by Tom Horton, the former chairman and chief executive of American Airlines; Wale Adeosun, the founder and chief executive of Kuramo Capital; William Shaw, chief executive of InterJet; Virasb Vahidi, the former chief commercial officer of American Airlines; and Gbenga Oyebode, the founder and chairman of Aluko & Oyebode.
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