Beijing-Lagos is first flight to Africa by Chinese airline

5 January 2007

Beijing, China, 5 Jan – One of China’s main air carriers, China Southern Airlines, has announced the launch of a flight between Beijing and Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, a flight which is the first air link by a Chinese airline between the country and Africa, the Chinese press reported.

The flight, which began running on December 30, is carried out three times a week and takes 16 hours, including a stop-off in Dubai.

The flight is carried out by an Airbus A330 aircraft, with a capacity of 260 passengers and according to the deputy director of China Southern Airlines, He Zongkai, the three weekly flights will make easier the journeys of 5,000 Chinese workmen and engineers in Nigeria building the country’s railroads.

In recent years China has increased its relations with Africa and the high point of its offensive took place in November when the first China-Africa summit was held, which took 41 heads of state and government from 48 African countries to Beijing.

The summit agreed to create a new strategic partnership between China and Africa based on political equality, mutual trust, and economic and cultural cooperation.

At the meeting, China’s prime minister, Wen Jiabao, announced that China planned to double its trade with Africa, ion order to reach a target of US$100 million in 2010.

China’s Foreign minister, Lo Zhaoxing is currently on a tour of Africa until January 8, which take sin seven countries: Benin, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Chad, the Central African Republic, Eritrea and Botswana. (macauhub)