By Chinelo Obogo, [email protected]
Following the shut down of its operations by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Wednesday, Dana Air has said it has commenced operational audit.
The communications manager of the airline, Kingsley Ezenwa, said that operational audits are regulatory and airlines are required to suspend their operations when the regulator calls for it but that they are confident that having been successful in previous audits, the airline will resume stronger and better.
The NCAA announced the suspension of Dana Airlines’ Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Air Operator Certificate (AOC) indefinitely, with effect from midnight of Wednesday, July 20, 2022.
The suspension was made pursuant to Section 35(2), 3(b) and (4) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and Part 18.104.22.168(a)(1) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs), 2015.
The order handed down by the Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu, has since been communicated to the management of Dana Airlines.
The decision is 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 airline’s flight operations recently, which revealed that Dana Airlines is no longer in a position to meet its financial obligations and to conduct safe flight operations.
The NCAA said it acknowledges the negative effect this preemptive decision will have on the airline’s passengers and the travelling public and seeks their understanding, as safety of flight operations takes priority over all other considerations.
In his response, Ezenwa said the airline is complying with the Authority’s directive and that the audit is an opportunity for to reassure clients and partners that Dana remains safe, efficient and reliable.
“We are pleased to announce that we have commenced the operational audit as advised by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and we are fully cooperating with the NCAA to ensure our quick return to flight operations.
“Operational audits are regulatory and airlines are required to suspend their operations when the regulator calls for it and we are confident that having been successful in previous audits, we will come back even stronger and better. The audit is also an opportunity for us to prove once again and reassure our guests, clients and partners that we remain strong, safe, efficient and reliable.
“As an airline, we are not insulated from the multiple challenges airlines and the aviation industry is grappling with daily which includes the recent skyrocketing cost of aviation fuel at N830/litre, unavailability of forex, ground handling services, inflation, multiple taxation amongst other operational challenges which airlines have made frantic efforts to communicate to the flying public and the government. While this short stay off the market remains painful and heartbreaking for us, our customers, clients and partners, we remain very hopeful and very confident of our position.
“Our offices will remain open to our travel partners, clients and our customer service will still be operational 24/7 as always to assist customers with necessary information. We wish to sincerely apologize to all affected customers, clients and travel partners for any inconveniences caused and crave your understanding and patience in the cause of this audit,” he said.