8th January, 2014
Suspended Dana Air has acquired two Boeing 737-500 planes as it seeks to phase out its old McDonnell Douglas aircraft that became infamous in 2012 following a plane crash that killed 163 people, sources at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, disclosed on Tuesday.
Sources said the planes were bought in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, and NCAA officials have travelled to inspect them before they are allowed into the country.
Sources said the two planes are not brand new but not as old as the MD-83 aircraft, the only aircraft in the fleet of Dana.
All Dana planes are more than 20 years old and old planes need more money to maintain.
Nigerians have accused some airlines often of cutting corners as they struggle with overwhelming financial challenges.
The newest acquisition will bring Dana fleet to about five planes.
Samuel Ogbogoro, Communication Manager at Dana Air, did not return text messages sent to his phone.
Dana Air was suspended on 6 October last year following an air return caused by a mechanical problem on one of its aircraft.
The incident happened only three days after an Associated Airlines plane crashed in Lagos and killed 16 people.
Sources at NCAA said Dana was given a list of items to comply with before it is allowed back into the skies.
The airline was said to have completed most of it and may return to the skies next week.
Training of staff is currently ongoing and a quality assurance manager is also needed before the suspension can be lifted, sources said.
—Simon Ateba/Aviation correspondent