On August 9th, Green Africa Airways finally received its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The airline was forced to postpone its June 24th launch due to delays in obtaining the AOC. With this major hurdle out of the way, the carrier can begin its initial domestic services across Nigeria.
“We at the NCAA are impressed with Green Africa’s effort and commitment to safely connect many more people across the country and we look forward to the positive contribution that the new airline will bring to the Nigerian aviation industry.” -Captain Musa Nuhu, NCAA
Commercial flights to begin this Thursday
With all the necessary paperwork complete and AOC in hand, Green Africa is now cleared for its first official takeoff. The airline has announced that it will commence “a soft launch” of its flight schedule immediately. However, Thursday, August 12th, will see Green Africa’s first commercial flight.
The airline’s statement announcing the acquisition of its AOC failed to disclose where its first official flight would take it. While Simple Flying has inquired with the airline, it appears that Lagos to Abuja will be the airline’s first service.
Indeed, as shown with the screen capture embedded below, it appears that flights as early as tomorrow, August 11th, are bookable. This, of course, is the day before the airline’s stated “first official commercial flight.”
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AOC delays cost airline a months worth of operations
It’s been quite a journey for startup airline Green Africa Airways. Of course, getting any commercial airline ‘off the ground’ usually is- even when there isn’t a global health crisis taking place!
The airline had originally hoped to launch its operations on June 24th with its newly acquired ATR72 turboprops. However, delays in obtaining its AOC from civil aviation authorities cost Green Africa about a month and a half.
Speaking on the issue, Babawande Afolabi, Founder and CEO of Green Africa, said at the time of the delays,
“This is certainly a bump in the road, and we are mindful of the impact especially on our customers and other stakeholders. However, we are confident of the NCAA’s support and commitment to get Green Africa into service, and we have also put plans in place to compensate our affected customers.”
With the airline already having had bookings for June and July flights, it was forced to rearrange these existing reservations. To show appreciation for customer trust and recognize the inconvenience caused, the airline sent an automated email to all affected customers with 50% of the value of their booking in flight credit.
Connecting Lagos with the rest of Nigeria
Now that the airline can actually fly passengers, it will connect Nigeria’s economic and commercial capital, Lagos, with other cities in Nigeria. After beginning its Lagos-Abuja service, the airline will add other services in the days and weeks following.
- Port Harcourt