AOC Delays Pushes Back Green Africa Airways’ Launch

Nigerian startup airline Green Africa Airways has delayed its launch, which was originally planned for June 24th. The carrier has temporarily suspended bookings as its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) will not be issued until July “due to unforeseen circumstances.” The airline is likely to begin flying in late July or August instead due to the AOC complication.

AOC Delays Pushes Back Green Africa Airways’ Launch
The Nigerian startup is experiencing delays with its Air Operator’s Certificate. Photo: Green Africa Airways

Launch pushed back after AOC delayed

After initially setting a launch date of June 24th, African startup airline Green Africa Airways has been forced to delay its launch due to issues with its AOC. After meeting with officials from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the airline’s AOC won’t be issued until July due to unforeseen circumstances.

In a statement, Green Africa Airways mentions “future dates starting August 2021”, which would suggest the airline doesn’t plan to start flying until August. However, the airline has not officially confirmed whether or not it has a new, firm launch date penciled in and could possibly begin flying in July.

AOC Delays Pushes Back Green Africa Airways’ Launch
“Unforeseen circumstances” have caused the delays. Photo: Green Africa Airways

Babawande Afolabi, Founder and CEO of Green Africa said,

“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.”

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Bookings have been suspended

Green Africa Airways has temporarily suspended bookings on its website in light of events. Offering a network of domestic flights around Nigeria (Akure, Ilorin, Abuja, Enugu, Owerri, and Port Harcourt) out of its Lagos hub, Green Africa Airways had already sold fares for its initial launch date of June 24th.

AOC Delays Pushes Back Green Africa Airways’ Launch
The airline has scrapped its initial launch date and is now likely to relaunch in August. Photo: Green Africa Airways

With the launch pushed back by at least a month, the airline will contact any customers who have already booked flights to arrange rebookings or compensation. Additionally, ticket holders will be permitted to rebook their flights at no extra cost to future dates “starting August 2021.”

The airline also added,

“Further, in appreciation of the trust from the airline’s early customers and in recognition of the inconvenience of rebooking, each customer will receive an automated email with 50% of the value of their booking in a credit shell within 7 days. This can be used to purchase another ticket with Green Africa.”

Up to 15 turboprops by next year

The Green Africa Airways fleet presently consists of three ATR72-600 turboprop planes, all acquired on lease from ACIA Aero. The airline has ambitious plans to become “one of the largest operators” of the ATR72-600 over the next 18 months by expanding its fleet to 15 planes by the end of 2022.

AOC Delays Pushes Back Green Africa Airways’ Launch
Green Africa Airways is aiming for a fleet of up to 15 ATR72s by the end of 2022. Photo: Green Africa Airways

With a network of seven destinations so far, Green Africa Airways plans to increase this to up to 15 routes by December 2022 and will need a bigger fleet to manage this. In 2020, the airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Airbus for 50 A220-300, although it’s unclear whether this deal will materialize.

Are you planning to fly with Green Africa Airways once it launches? Do you think the airline will eventually add A220s to its fleet? Let us know your insights in the comments.