Wednesday, September 5, 2012

► NIGERIA: Air Nigeria calls it quits as Dana Air's licence is reinstated.

Air NigeriaOn a day of two contrasting fortunes,  Jimoh Ibrahim's troubled venture Air Nigeria (VK), having teetered on the brink of collapse for some time, is to call it quits from 10 September 2012 following months of uncertainty in which leased aircraft were ceased, company directors arrested and allegations of safety oversights and tax evasion.

In a statement, the company's management blamed the suspension of operations on "staff disloyalty and a weak business environment" though remained resolute in the possibility of returning to viability next year by retaining 50 "loyal" members of staff from various departments, selected with a mandate to recommence operations within 12 months. All other employees however, had been laid off effective from their last day of work on their various routes.

On the suspension of Air Nigeria's operations, Ibrahim last night in a statement said:
“Corporations are like individuals, who naturally will get sick, and the usual thing to do is to admit them to hospitals, either for corporate surgery or for treatment, as the case may be. During such period, it is not likely that they will work in full capacity, depending on the nature of the illness.” The suspension of operations, he added, was not due to load factor, but largely to staff disloyalty and weak business environment."

Then later on today, Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah-Ogiemwonyi, announced that the Nigerian Federal Government would reinstate Dana Air's (9J) Operator's Licence effective immediately:
Dana Air Nigeria MD-83
Dana Air returns to service
"The Federal Government has lifted the suspension of the Operating Licence of Dana Airlines. This follows government’s satisfaction with the air-worthiness of the airline after a rigorous technical, operational and financial audit of the airline. 

By this development, Dana Airline is free to resume its normal commercial flight operations. Government will however continue to strengthen its oversight and regulatory functions to ensure that all airlines operating in the country, including Dana adhere strictly to safety procedures as required by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act and all other relevant local and international regulations that ensure and promote sustainable air safety. 

The operating licence of Dana Airlines was temporarily suspended following the crash of one of its aircraft on June 3, in Lagos as a safety precaution.

Joe Obi, SA (Media) to Hon. Minister of Aviation."

Dana Air had its Operator's Licence suspended following the crash of Dana Air Flight 9J-997 which slammed into a Lagos suburb in early June of this year. The crash is believed to have been caused by dual engine failure whose subsequent forced landing resulted in the deaths of all 153 people on board as well as six on the ground.