China Southern Airlines has launched the first ever air service between The People’s Republic of China and Africa.
“Nigeria is playing an increasingly important role in the international community,” said Mr. Liu Shaoyong, Chairman, China Southern Airlines. Mr. Liu made his comments at the welcoming ceremony today at Lagos’ Murtala Mohammed International Airport.
Mr. Liu added that, “China’s second largest trading partner and exporting country in Africa, Nigeria is of great importance to China. The Beijing-Dubai-Lagos route launched today is the first ever air service to Africa launched by China Southern. It is also the only China-Africa air service available in the Chinese civil aviation industry and it will surely open up a new gateway of communication and cooperation between China and Nigeria.”
Offering passengers an intermediary stop between China and Africa in Dubai, China Southern’s new service features the airline’s Airbus A330 aircraft, with China Southern’s Premium Business Class mini-pod, flat bed seating.
Outbound flights will depart Beijing every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday; return flight departing Lagos on every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday with arrival at Beijing on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday:
CZ331 Beijing 2340 0430+1 Dubai 0610 1110 Lagos (Local Time)
CZ332 Lagos 1330 0030+1 Dubai 0200 1345 Beijing (Local Time)
Bilateral trade between China and Africa has an average growth rate of 23.6%. Nigeria has become one of China’s important trading partners in Africa.
Today, more than 30 Chinese enterprises have been established in Nigeria, which involve an accumulated investment of over USD$100 million, with expanding levels of investment.
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.