China Southern Airlines is to launch flights from Beijing to Lagos, Nigeria (via Dubai). The new service is slated to begin on December 30 using the airline’s new Airbus A330 aircraft, featuring China Southern’s Premium Business Class service offering mini-pod, flat bed seating.
Outbound flights will depart Beijing every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday with the return flight departing Lagos on every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday with arrival at Beijing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Chinese government figures show that bilateral trade between China and Africa this year will exceed US$50 billion, or five times more than the amount in 2000. Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and Beijing has pledged to loan the West African country US$7 Billion. The new route will meet the needs of growing Sino-African diplomatic and trade ties and facilitate common development of the Chinese and African economies.
Lagos’ Murtala Mohammed International Airport is located in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria, and is the major airport serving the city of Lagos, southwestern Nigeria and the entire nation. It was named after former Nigerian military head of state Murtala Ramat Mohammed. The international terminal was modeled after Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Murtala Mohammed International Airport consists of an International and a domestic terminal, located about 1km from each other. Both terminals share the same runways. The domestic terminal was relocated to the old Lagos domestic terminal in 2000 after a fire and a new domestic terminal is currently under construction.
Recent years have seen substantial improvements at Murtala Muhammed International Airport. Malfunctioning and non-operational infrastructure such as air conditioning and luggage belts have been repaired. The entire airport has been cleaned, and many new restaurants and duty-free stores have opened. Bilateral Air Services Agreements signed between Nigeria and other countries are being revived and new ones signed. Airlines expected to begin or have begun operation to MMIA include Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc and Malaysia Airlines.