1st flight to Africa arrives in Lagos

Updated: 2007-01-01 08:48

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 great peoples."

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.

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