Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that the country may consider buying the newly-certified C919 passenger jet in China as an additional aircraft for the national carrier, Nigeria Air.
Sirika is reprted to have disclosed this on the sidelines of the United Nations aviation agency’s triennial assembly in Montreal, Canada.
The Chinese government had hailed the development of its first medium-haul passenger jet as the embodiment of the country’s drive towards self-sufficiency. It aims to challenge western aircraft giants in the aviation industry with the plane.
Sirika said the goal is to increase the number of planes for Nigeria Air to 30 planes by 2025.
He said the new airline would have a mixture of Airbus (AIR.PA) and Boeing (BA.N) planes, adding that the carrier is also willing to look at the Chinese narrowbody jet, which Chinese regulators certified on Friday.
“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,” he said.
Last week, the minister said the Ethiopian Airlines consortium had been selected as the preferred bidder for Nigeria Air, owning 49 per cent of the national carrier.
Sirika said ET scored 89 percent out of 100 in the technical bidding process and 15 out of 20 as regards financial bids.