Nigeria would consider China’s C919 plane for new airline


FILE PHOTO: The third prototype of China's home-built passenger jet C919 takes off during its first test flight at Shanghai Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China December December 28, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

MONTREAL: Nigeria would consider buying China’s newly-certified C919 passenger jet as it grows the country’s fledgling carrier Nigeria Air to 30 planes by around 2025, Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika says.

Sirika said the new airline would have a mixture of Airbus and Boeing planes, but added the carrier is also willing to look at the Chinese narrowbody jet, which Chinese regulators certified last Friday.

“We haven’t looked at that C919. But if it’s as good as the others then why not,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the United Nation’s aviation agency’s triennial assembly in Montreal, Canada.

Last Friday, China hailed the development of its first medium-haul passenger jet as the embodiment of the country’s drive towards self-sufficiency, with safety approval awarded to a plane that aims to challenge Western aircraft giants for orders.

The first C919 aircraft, designed to compete with popular single-aisle models made by Airbus and Boeing, will be delivered by the end of the year, state Xinhua News Agency said.

It remains unclear when the plane might be certified by the United States or Europe, opening the way to sales in most foreign markets, but industry analysts say it will be up to a decade before China can seriously tackle the existing Boeing-Airbus duopoly. — Reuters

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