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Nigerian govt to buy China’s N42,80bn new passenger plane for national carrier

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The federal government of Nigeria is looking at buying China’s newly-certified C919 passenger jet, which is worth over $99 million or N42 billion.

The Minister of Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika hinted at this over the weekend at the United Nations aviation agency’s triennial assembly in Montreal, Canada.

He also promised that the country’s fledgling carrier Nigeria Air will have around 30 planes by 2025.

Reuters reports that Sirika, while speaking to journalists said the new airline would have a mixture of Airbus (AIR.PA) and Boeing (BA.N) planes, but added the carrier was also willing to look at the Chinese narrowbody jet, which Chinese regulators certified on Friday.

Sirika said, “China and Nigeria (have a) very cordial and friendly relationship with mutual benefits, we haven’t looked at that the new C919. But if it’s as good as the others, then why not,”

Read also:New national carrier to come on stream 2022 – Sirika

On 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.

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