UK completion centre MacCarthy Interiors returned a Boeing 727-200 to the Nigerian government last week after re-engining the aircraft and upgrading its interior and equipment.

The modification took eight months and included avionics upgrades, fitting extended-range fuel tanks, exterior painting, wingtip extensions and a head-of-state interior. The aircraft has been modified to comply with noise regulations in Europe after the Nigerian parliament rejected a proposal to purchase an Airbus Corporate Jetliner for $80 million from Brunei in 2000 as a replacement.

After a period of flight tests, the aircraft will be used next week to transport Nigeria's soccer team to its training base in the Japanese city of Fuji-Yoshida ahead of the World Cup. MacCarthy Interiors' contract included a penalty if the aircraft was not delivered in time for the tournament.

Source: Flight International