Nigerian start-up airline, Green Africa Airways, based in Lagos, has inked a strategic partnership with First City Monument Bank (FCMB), which will enable it access about $31 million into its operations in form of standby letter of credit and rolling working capital.
According to aviationages.com, the carrier which is looking at commencing operations in Nigeria early 2021 said the new partnership will also ‘develop a proprietary educational loan product for a proactive human capital development platform to train pilots, engineers, cabin crew members, safety professionals and other technical personnel in commercial, operational and aviation finance functions.
The airline said this is a key component of Green Africa’s plan to scale diligently and play a critical role in cultivating world-class local industry talent in the coming years.’
Speaking on the partnership, the Founder & CEO of Green Africa, Mr. Babawande Afolabi, said: “This marque partnership with FCMB gives Green Africa additional tailwind to launch and scale in the years ahead. The partnership will not only deliver long-term value to Green Africa and FCMB, but also significantly move the conversation forward about how to prudently foster a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Nigeria and across the African continent. We are honoured that FCMB is joining hands with Green Africa on this journey to use the power of air travel to create a better future.”
“Revenue collected from all Green Africa customer sales transactions will be exclusively domiciled at Green Africa’s operating account with FCMB. Upon commencement of pre-sales in early 2021, FCMB will provide Green Africa with access to up to US$31m in a combination of standby letter of credit and rolling working capital,” said the airline through a statement.
On his part, the Managing Director & CEO of FCMB, Mr. Adam Nuru, said: “We have been tracking Green Africa’s journey over the last few years and we are delighted to officially join Babawande and the Green Africa team at this important stage of the journey. Green Africa, with the support of its high-quality equity backers, a world-class team on the ground, and landmark partnership with Airbus, has a unique opportunity to redefine the aviation landscape in the region. This strategic partnership provides Green Africa with further access to short to medium-term liquidity and an institutional platform for scaling. It also positions FCMB as a preferred long-term anchor player in the future of an industry that will be key to realizing the economic potentials of Nigeria and the broader African continent. We could not be more proud of this strategic partnership with Green Africa.”
Other part of the partnership will help to integrate FCMB’s payment gateway into Navitaire, which is Green Africa’s passenger reservation system provider. “Navitaire’s New Skies platform is a leading reservation and retailing system working with a large customer-base of airlines in high growth markets around the world. The agreement is equally expected to explore other areas of commercial partnerships and opportunities to bring even more value to FCMB and Green Africa customers as the value carrier scales.”