By John Ikani
The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended Dana Airlines’ Air Transport Licence and Air Operator Certificate indefinitely.
The suspension, according to the NCAA takes effect from midnight of Wednesday, 20th July, 2022.
Announcing this in a statement on Wednesday, NCAA director-general, Captain Musa Nuhu, said the suspension was made pursuant to Section 35(2), 3(b) and (4) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and Part 220.127.116.11(a)(1) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs), 2015.
According to him, the suspension order has since been communicated to the management of Dana Airlines.
The NCAA boss explained that the decision 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 airlines’ flight operations recently, which revealed 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 pre-emptive 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 statement added.
DANA Airlines reacts
Reacting to the suspension via a statement issued on Wednesday, the management of Dana Airlines assured that it would come out of the crisis stronger and better.
The company also reassured its customers and partners that the airline is still safe, efficient, and reliable.
The statement signed by Kingsley Ezenwa, Communications and Marketing, Dana Airlines Ltd was made available to newsmen on Wednesday night.
It reads, “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.
“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.”