Azman Air (ZQ, Kano) has selected Saudi Arabia for its maiden international and intercontinental services. The Nigerian carrier said in a statement 2x weekly return flights between Kano and Jeddah began on May 12. Operations are onboard Azman Air's fleet of two B737-300s and two B737-500s.

Until this development, Azman Air had focussed exclusively on the Nigerian domestic market connecting Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt Omagwa, Kano, Birmin Kebbi, Gombe, Maiduguri, and Yola.

Airline president Abdulmunaf Sarina told Channels TV in an interview earlier this month that Azman Air has already secured approval from the Nigerian Ministry of Aviation to begin regional African operations which will start once two unspecified widebody aircraft have been delivered. Once in-country, the jets will also be used to develop service to Dubai and China.

Nigeria's smaller operators have begun to find their respective voices since debt-ridden Arik Air (W3, Lagos) curtailed its international operations following its takeover by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in February. Aside from Azman Air, Air Peace (P4, Lagos) has also announced plans to acquire B777 widebody aircraft for use in starting intercontinental services to each of Guangzhou (China), Dubai Int'l (United Arab Emirates), Mumbai Int'l (India), Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson (United States), and London (United Kingdom), among other destinations.