Nigerian startup Green Africa Airways has appointed former American Airlines CCO Virasb Vahidi as a senior executive advisor.

Lagos-headquartered Green Africa Airways has secured its air transport license and has started work toward an air operator’s certificate. The new airline initially plans to operate domestic flights within Nigeria, using leased mid-sized jets.

Green Africa Airways described Vahidi as “a principal architect” of American Airlines’ restructuring. “He had responsibilities for fleet planning, network optimization, revenue management, customer insights and loyalty, sales, marketing, and communications. He also led the modernization of American Airlines' fleet,” the startup said.

Vahidi has over 25 years’ experience across multiple industries including travel, telecommunication and technology. As well as his work with American Airlines, Vahidi was CEO of Otter Media, held a senior role with AT&T and was COO of London-based technology company Phorm.

Green Africa Airways CEO Babawande Afolabi, a former investment banker in New York and London for Morgan Stanley, is the airline’s founder. Afolabi started work on Green Africa Airways three years ago, in 2014.

“Virasb will be lending us his expertise as we continue on this journey to profitably build Green Africa Airways,” Green Africa Airways said.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com