Nigeria Air, the proposed flag carrier of Nigeria, would consider purchasing some of China’s home-grown COMAC C919 narrow-body passenger aircraft, the country’s aviation minister Hadi Sirika has said.
Speaking to Reuters on October 1, 2022, the Nigerian aviation minister confirmed that the air carrier, which currently approaches certification after around four years of failing to take off the ground, said it was willing to look at the COMAC C919 with a view to it being included in Nigeria Air’s mixed fleet.
“China and Nigeria have a very cordial and friendly relationship with mutual benefits,” Sirika said. “We haven’t looked at that C919. But if it’s as good as the others then why not.”
Expecting to launch passenger flights with three Boeing 737-800 planes by the end of 2022, Nigeria Air plans to grow its fleet to a total of 30 jets by 2025. The fleet is also expected to consist of a number of Airbus narrow-body aircraft.
The initial Nigeria Air network will begin with a domestic shuttle service between Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV) in Abuja and Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) in Lagos, the country’s largest city.
“We will initially fly between Abuja and Lagos and are in the process of getting ready for launch. We will keep you posted about the activities,” Nigeria Air said in a LinkedIn post.
The new flag carrier was unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom in July 2018. Willing to operate across 81 potential routes, the airline was supposed to take off in December 2018. However, plans were scrapped shortly before the beginning of operations.