NCAA Says Dana Air Not Safe, Retracts Licences

Ken Okeke

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has confirmed unfitness of Dana air to continue flight operations, declaring that it is no longer fit for now to be allowed to fly.

Consequently, the Agency has suspended Dana Airlines’ Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Air Operator Certificate (AOC) indefinitely, with effect from midnight of Wednesday, July 20, 2022.

Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director General of NCAA, gave the directive on Wednesday in Lagos.

Nuhu, in a statement said that the suspension was made pursuant to Section 35(2), 3(b) and (4) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and Part of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs), 2015, which has also been communicated to the airline.

Oriental News Nigeria, learnt that the action was 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.

The report of the audit showed that Dana Airlines was 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,” Nuhu said in a statement.

Dana Air Boeing 737 aircraft with registration number (5N DNA) had on Tuesday made an emergency landing at Abuja Airport.

The airline, after the incident, said that the aircraft had been grounded for immediate attention by engineers.

The airline’s Communication Manager, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa made these known in a statement issued in Lagos.

Ezenwa said that the incident was due to an indication on one of its engines.

He noted that the Pilot-in-command briefed the passengers on the incident and landed the aircraft safely at the Abuja International airport at about 2.52 p.m.

“All the 100 passengers disembarked safely and the aircraft has been grounded for immediate attention by our team of engineers.

“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have also been briefed on the incident,” he had said.

Ezenwa apologised to passengers on board the flight and reassured customers that the airline would continue to maintain high safety standards.

The suspension of DANA Air operations also comes soon after the Airline Operators of Nigeria wrote to the NCAA and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria expressing some concerns and seeking reliefs.

In response to the suspension, Dana airline in a statement confirmed that, “Our operations have been suspended as advised by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) in order to undergo a full operational audit with effect from midnight 20th July, 2022.”

It said that operational audits are regulatory and airlines are obligated to suspend their operations when the NCAA calls for it and we understand the impact this suspension will have on our partners, staff, passengers and the general public but we are very confident that we would come out stronger as we have done in the past.

“We wish to assure the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) that we are fully ready and committed to cooperating with them in the course of this audit and to also reassure our customers and partners that we are safe, efficient and reliable.

“The recent skyrocketing cost of Jet A1 at 830/litre, unavailability of forex, inflation are also contributory factors to this decision regrettably.

“We crave the understanding and patience of our customers, travel and business partners and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience our short absence from the market might cause.

“Our customer service team will continue to operate 24/7 to assist affected customers with necessary information on refunds and our offices will be open to all our existing partners.” Dana said.

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