Tuesday, December 4, 2012

■ NIGERIA: Dana Air claims lack of correct paperwork submissions as cause for delayed payments to flight 9J-997's victims' families.

Dana AirGrounded Nigerian carrier Dana Air (9J) has issued a response to recent reports in the Nigerian press claiming that Dana Air and its insurers had refused to pay statutory compensation to the families of victims of the Dana Air 9J-997 tragedy in Lagos in June.

Senate in Nigeria
Nigerian Senate in sitting ()
Reports claimed that families of 40 of the passengers aboard the ill-fated Dana flight have petitioned the Nigerian Senate Committee on Aviation and called on the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) to compel the management of Dana Air to pay statutory compensation (USD100'000/crash victim) to the families of the victims.

The petition also seeks to compel "reluctant" local insurers to honour their own 30% share of commitment under the third party liability claim. 

In November, 9J reported that 90 families of the 153 victims of the crash had been paid the initial USD30'000 payment, adding that their insurance company was handling the remaining USD70'000 for the families.

Dana Air today stated that the families lack of necessary paper work, and not skulduggery, was to blame for the delay in other payouts:
We will like (sic) to state that 80 advance payments of 30,000 USD have been processed by virtue of documentation supplied demonstrating familial links and kinship; our insurers are continuing to deal with all other claims in accordance with the applicable law.

In order to assess and verify full compensation due and payable, however, it is necessary for claimants to produce the required Grants of Probate or Letters of Administration. This is a customary procedure and an important requirement in order to ensure that just compensation is only paid to those who have entitlement.

As of December 3, 2012, only 6 families had provided the requisite documents, and full compensation will be paid to them no sooner than the documents have been verified by the Probate Registry that issued them. Dana Air has no control over the speed with which the Probate Registry deals with the verification process, although maximum pressure is being exerted to expedite this.

Dana Air shares in the pain of all the affected families and we wish to re-iterate the readiness of our insurers to settle all claims in accordance with the law and available evidence, at the earliest opportunity.

Dana Air Management
Source [Dana Air]

Meanwhile, as part of its return to operations, Dana Air has spent USD150'000 on retraining its crew after the Nigerian Government lifted the suspension on its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) in September. The carrier has also short listed a Boeing 737-700 and another Airbus A319 aircraft as possible additions to its fleet, though ops will likely resume with two McDonnell Douglas MD-83s that have already been certified.