27th January, 2014
Dana Air will begin flight operations on Monday, three months after it was suspended by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, the airline said in a text message on Sunday.
Dana’s spokesperson, Samuel Ogbogoro, said the first flight will depart Lagos at 12.06 pm to Abuja while the second flight will take off in Lagos at 16.29 to the Nigerian capital.
Media reports had earlier claimed that Dana was resuming flight operations on Sunday, but the resumption did not take place as no Dana Air plane took off on Sunday.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, said in a letter to the airline that Dana was free to return to the skies after a rigorous safety audit.
The airline was suspended early in 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 and 16 months after a Dana Air plane crashed in Lagos, killing 163.
Recently Dana acquired two Boeing 737-500 planes as it seeks to phase out its old McDonnell Douglas aircraft that became infamous in 2012 following their plane crash in June of that year. According to sources, the planes were bought in Cairo, the Egyptian capital, and NCAA officials travelled and successfully inspected them.
Sources said the two planes were not brand new but not as old as the MD-83 aircraft, the only aircraft type 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.