Dana  Airline Troubles; FG. Suspends Operating License

By Suleiman Umaru

 Barely  one week after Dana Airline, involving McDonnel Douglass  aircraft skidded off the runway of  the  Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Local Wing , Ikeja, Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve center on a  scheduled flight from  Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, to Lagos, on Tuesday, April 24, 2024,  President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the instance of etus Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria , SAN , and minister of Aviation and Air Space,  was said to have directed  the Nigerian  Civil  Aviation Authority, NCAA,  to suspend  the operating license of the local airline.

An eyewitness account had confirmed that the area affected by the Dana airline aircraft that overshoot the MMIA runway was’’ significantly muddy’’.  Acting on the Presidential directive, the minister of Aviation and Air Space was said to have also ordered ‘’a comprehensive audit   of the Dana Airline’’. The audit, according to informed sources is expected to encompass all aspects of the airline safety protocols, maintenance procedures and financial health to ensure that it had complied with the nation’s Aviation sector’s regulations before the accident.

The Edo state born politician who could not hide his feelings had said that ‘’the incidents involving the Dana airline aircraft had raised concerns regarding its safety and the financial ability of their operations’’.  An aggrieved Keyamo had said that the Dana airline incident   had underscored ‘’the urgency and the need for swift and a decisive action to be taken to safeguard   the interest of all the airline’s shareholders involved ‘’.

This may have informed why he had said that he’’ trusts in the expertise and diligence of those appointed in carrying out a thorough and expeditious audit of the Dana airline crash incident at the MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos. The Aviation and Air Space minister will want the auditors to carry him along in the audit exercise and also enjoined the team to keep him informed of their progress and any significant findings throughout the audit process. Aleady, the Federal Bureau of Instigations, FBI,had said that its has commenced its invesigations in to the Dana aircrft incident at the MMIA, local wing.

Dana Mc Donnel Douglass aircraft

As a prelude to getting to the root of the Dana  airline incident ,  at the MMIA,  may have encouraged the  Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Authorities,  on Tuesday, April 24, 2024, the day the accident occured to have temporarily ‘’ shutdown  runway  8L/6R at the MMIA for local  and international flight operations’’.

Given the busy nation of the airport for both local and international flight operations on a daily basis may have equally encouraged the FAAN Authorities to reopen the shut down runway after its response team had successfully evacuated and recovered the aircraft from the site? The FAAN evacuation team, according to an insider were said to have conducted a comprehensive clearing operations to ensure that the runway at the airport was free of any Foreign Object Debris, FOD that could impede flight safety.

In reopening the MMIA , shut down  runway, a ministerial source told the online Magazine that the FAAN Operation  Division  and the Nigeria Air Space  Management Agency , NAMA,  had conducted  a thorough  inspection  of the affected runway  surface .

Until, the Dana airline aircraft crash landed at the MMIA, it was said to have had a total operating fleet of eight   comprising of two Boeing 737 and five McDonnel Douglas MD 80, while one Boeing 737 and three Mcdonnel Douglass MD 80 were parked. The airline’s additional one Boeing 37 and two McDonnel Douglass, MD 80 serries were said to be currently undergoing in service.

The foursome of  Jacky Hathiramani, Dana airline,  Group Managing Director, Sunil Bajaj, Dana Airlines, Chief Financial Officer, CFO, Orji Rubi, Head of Carter Sales  and Operations and Emmanuel Ogwori, Procurement and Store  Manager, appears to be  unhappy over the airline’s aircraft incident that had forced it out of the country’s air space , thus reducing number of  its fleet  used in servicing the need of the travelling public from   the Lagosto Abuja,  Lagos-Port Harcourt-Abuja and Uyo- Abuja as well as the PortHarcourt-Abuja and Uyo- Abuja routes using its fleet  of Boeing 737 -300 series   airplanes and  McDonnel Douglass 83 airplanes.  

T Indeed, the foursome have every reason to worry because of the high cost of procurement of a fairly used aircraft for its operations,, let alone acquisition of a brand new aircraft like Air Peace , which currently had more than 20 aircrafts  comprising of Boeing 737, 727 and air buses  on its fleet.

Given the implication of the suspension of its operating license by the Nigerian President on the recommendation of the minister of Aviation and Air space may have forced the Hathiramani, the Dana Air, Group Managing Director and Bajaj, the CFO, to mobilize both their official and unofficial contacts at the Presidency and the ministry of Aviation to facilitate the ministerial revisit to the airline’s matter in order to resume operations to still maintain its staff strength of  well over 400, including members of the Management team and the Board .

T With its improved patronage over the last couple of years the Dana airline Management were said to have reassured the traveling public whose plans have been disrupted in the recent time that they have no cause to worry  as ‘’the company is fully cooperating with the relevant Authorities  to address the  safety concerns and other issues raised and resolved all the problems as possible  in order to return  back to business shortly.  

 Note that with the suspension of the airline operations within the nation’s air space by the Federal Government,   may have forced the Dana airline Authorities’’ to commence   a refund process   for its affected flights over the next one month’’.  That much was confirmed by an insider.   

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