LAGOS, December 31 -- A flight operated by China's Southern Airlines on
Sunday landed on the international airport of Lagos, Nigeria's commercial
capital, marking the successful launch of regular flights offered by a Chinese
airline between China and Africa.
The flight, coded CZ331, took off at 11:40 p.m. (1540
GMT) from the Capital International Airport in China's capital of Beijing, via
Dubai, landed at 12:30 a.m. (1130 GMT) in Lagos.
A flight attendant makes final
preparations for passengers to board a flight heading for Lagos December
30, 2006. [newsphoto]
Addressing the welcome ceremony, Liu Shaoyong, the
general manager of China Southern Airlines, said that "the decision to launch
the air route at this particular moment takes advantage of the historic
opportunity in both political and economic terms."
He said the flight "is surely to help boost the political and economic ties
between China and Nigeria and also promote mutual understanding between the two
China Southern Airlines will operate three flights with Airbus 330 from
Beijing to Lagos each week with a capacity of 260 passengers.
A one-way economy class ticket costs at least 6,400 yuan (819 U. S. dollars),
and a one-way business class seat 16,000 yuan (1,126 dollars). It takes about 16
hours to fly one-way.