*Targets early return to schedule operations
Dana Air said it has commenced the operational audit of the airline as requested by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), as it hopes to resume operations soon.
The NCAA yesterday, suspended Dana Airlines’ Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Air Operator Certificate (AOC) indefinitely, on issues bothering on financial and safety grounds.
According to the NCAA, the suspension was made pursuant to Section 35(2), 3(b) and (4) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and Part 188.8.131.52(a)(1) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs), 2015.
“The decision is the outcome of a financial and economic health audit carried out on the Airline by the Authority, and the findings of an investigation conducted on the Airline’s flight operations recently, which revealed that Dana Airlines is no longer in a position to meet its financial obligations and to conduct safe flight operations.
“The NCAA acknowledges the negative effect this preemptive decision will have on the Airline’s passengers and the travelling public and seeks their understanding, as the safety of flight operations takes priority over all other considerations”.
The Communications Manager of Dana Air, Kingsley Ezenwa in a statement said the airline is fully cooperating with the NCAA to ensure its quick return to flight operations.
Ezenwa pointed out that the audit is also an opportunity for the airline to prove once again and reassure its guests and partners that they remain strong, safe, efficient and reliable.
He explained: “Operational Audits are regulatory tasks and airlines are required to suspend their operations when the regulator calls for it and we are confident that having been successful in previous audits, we will come back even stronger and better.
“As an airline, we are not insulated from the multiple challenges airlines and the aviation industry is grappling with daily which includes the recent skyrocketing cost of aviation fuel at N830/ltr, unavailability of forex, Ground Handling services, inflation, multiple taxation amongst other operational challenges which airlines have made frantic efforts to communicate to the flying public and the government.
“While this short stay off the market remains painful and heartbreaking for us, our customers, clients and partners, we remain very hopeful and very confident of our position. Our offices will remain open to our travel partners, clients and our customer service will still be operational 24/7 as always to assist customers with necessary information”.
It was gathered that some stranded passengers of Dana Air at the domestic wing of the Lagos airport, MMA2, on Thursday morning went on rampage and vandalized property of the airline.
The passengers, who were not aware of the latest development had arrived the airport early to board their flights, but found none of the airline’s personnel on ground to attend to them.
According to sources, some of the passengers got violent when they were told about the NCAA suspension, after waiting for hours.
The report further said that officials of the airline who later appeared at the scene advised and directed the aggrieved passengers to write down their names for refund.
The airline spokesperson in the press statement also advised customers with unused tickets to apply for refunds by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with their details, stating that it will try and resolve it in a timely manner.
“Wish to sincerely apologize to all affected customers, clients and travel partners for any inconveniences caused and crave your understanding and patience in the cause of this audit”, he added.