- The Nigerian government is pressing ahead with ambitions to make Nigeria Air operational by 2023
- The latest move is the purchase of planes for Nigeria Air, one of which is China's newly launched C919 passenger jet
- The Chinese plane is expected to cost Nigeria more than N42 billion if decision-makers opt to purchase one
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Nigeria is considering buying China's newly-certified C919 passenger jet, worth over $99 million or N42 billion.
The Minister of Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika, hinted at this at the United Nations aviation agency's triennial assembly in Montreal, Canada.
He also said that the country's fledgling carrier Nigeria Air will have around 30 planes by 2025.
Reuters reports that Sirika said the new airline would have a mixture of Airbus (AIR.PA) and Boeing (BA.N) planes, but added the carrier is also willing to look at the Chinese narrowbody jet, which Chinese regulators certified on Friday.
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"We haven't looked at that C919. But if it's as good as the others then why not.
"China and Nigeria (have a) very cordial and friendly relationship with mutual benefits."
Nigeria Air was one of President Muhammadu Buhari's election campaign pledges in 2015, and it now looks like the president will get the airline up and running after several years of planning.
Details of the C919 passenger jet
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.
Birds, wild animals attacks on aeroplanes in Nigeria increase, worst in Lagos
In another report, Nigerian airports have reported increased bird attacks on aeroplanes across the country.
Other animal attacks were also reported, and the risk agencies hope to find a lasting solution.