Start-up carrier Green Africa Airways has announced a commitment for up to 100 B737 Max aircraft, in what would be the largest ever African aircraft agreement.

The Lagos-based “value airline” has received its Air Transport License from the Nigerian government, and is aiming to develop the domestic market before building a Pan African network.

The commitment consists of an order for 50 B737 Max 8s, as well as an option for a further 50 aircraft, with the total deal worth $11.7 billion at list prices.

Commenting on the news Babawande Afolabi, Founder and CEO, Green Africa Airways said:

“Today is a historic day for the Nigerian and African aviation industry. This landmark deal takes us much closer to our long-held dream of building a world-class airline that will unlock a new realm of positive possibilities for millions of customers.

“Broadly speaking, this deal is a bold symbol of the dynamism, resilience and soaring entrepreneurial drive of the next generation of Nigerians and Africans.”

Boeing’s 20-year Commercial Market Outlook forecasts that airlines in Africa will require 1,900 new aircraft, with Ihssane Mounir, Senior Vice President of Commercial Sales & Marketing, The Boeing Company, describing the growth potential for air travel across Nigeria and Africa as “extraordinary”.

“We are delighted that Green Africa Airways has selected the 737 Max to serve this expanding market,” said Mounir.

“We look forward to Green Africa Airways building their fleet with the Max and taking advantage of the jet’s efficiency and dependability to open new options across Nigeria and the African continent.

“Boeing will be a trusted partner to Green Africa Airways as the MAX is introduced into their operations and through their long-term success.”