Saturday 5 January 2013

DANA Air resumes with 144 passengers on first flight.

Aviation Nigeria

A total of 144 passengers were on board Dana Air flights 353 and 354 from Lagos to Abuja and Abuja to Lagos respectively on Friday as the airline resumed flying seven months after one of its planes crashed in Lagos on June 3, 2012 killing over 160 people.

There were 62 passengers on the Lagos to Abuja flight while 82 came back to Lagos from Abuja.

The first flight, which departed the Murtala Mohammed Airport 2 (MMA2), Lagos at 10:10am, landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport (NAA), Abuja at 11:05am.

Speaking to journalists shortly after landing in Abuja, Dana’s Group Director, Mr. Francis Ogboro, assured the flying public of utmost safety in its entire operations.

Ogboro described the 2012 disaster in the Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos as unfortunate and maintained that the accident had necessitated its resolve to enhance the maintenance of its fleet.

He revealed that the airline may increase and change its fleet in the next six months, but added that MD83 aircraft was still in operation in major countries of the world including the United States of America (USA).

According him, “In the past six years that we commenced flight operations, we’ve never played with the maintenance of our aircraft and safety of the passengers and we will continue to do that to ensure that we give Nigerians a safe aircraft for our passengers to fly with. We are expanding our fleet.

“It is not impossible that we bring in some other aircraft types as well. Hopefully, in the next six months we will bring in some new aircraft, may be Boeing 737 or others. But I re-emphasise again, there is nothing wrong with the MD 83 aircraft.”

He also disclosed that the airline was considering collaborating with foreign investors who had indicated interest to partner with it.

On the two months deadline given the airline to complete payment of compensation to all the families of victims of the crash, Ogboro assured that the airline would meet the deadline, but explained that the payment of all compensation to the beneficiaries would not come from the airline, rather from the insurance companies.

Ogboro stated that all the passengers on board the crashed plane were properly insured by its insurance companies both at home and abroad and that the insurers had made adequate arrangement to pay all the families involved in the crash.

He disclosed that more than 90 per cent of the bereaved families had been compensated with the initial $30,000 compensation while about eight families have applied for the remaining $70,000 compensation as at two weeks ago.

In his words, “The payment of the insurance due to the families is not something that will come from Dana Air’s pocket. We are fully insured. I can assure you that our insurance companies led by Lloyds of London have made adequate arrangement to pay all the families involved in the crash”

A passenger, Mr. Charles Mbadon, said that though he was afraid initially, he soon overcame it when the aircraft took off at the airport in Lagos

Another passenger, Mr. Michael Babaniji, said that there was nothing like fear in his mind, adding that the June 3 incident was an accident that could have happened to any airline.

Comedian Bright Okpocha, aka Basketmouth, who was also on the flight said that he did not entertain any fear, adding that he is ready to fly Dana any time

Source : Daily Independent


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