Despite a plane crash that claimed the lives of 153 people some months ago and the fact that families of victims of the crash might find it offensive, Dana Airline has been named the best domestic carrier for 2011 by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
Over the weekend, FAAN’s Regional General Manager, Mr. Chris Bature, said the airline was awarded the prize for its good customer relations and prompt payment of dues. He also added that the airline was selected because of its outstanding performance. “Mode of selection includes passenger capacity, frequency of the landing and take-off, their response to payment of bills. Among the domestic carriers, they were the best. They had the best volume, they were punctual in their operations,” Guardian quoted him as saying.
Reacting to a question on the timing of the award which is coming four months after the June 3rd Dana Air crash, Mr Bature explained that the award would have taken place earlier in the year and that the reward came after the operator’s license had been restored.
“In all fairness, they did their best and we need to recognize that and encourage them to get back to their feet,” he added.
Dana’s Station Manager at the Abuja airport, Mr. Kayode Adeniran, stated that the airline’s commitment to best customer service and timely departure earned it the award. “We have this policy in our company that we must not delay passengers and we introduced another type of system. If your flight is delayed by 40 minutes, we give refreshments to all passengers that already had their boarding passes. So people were so impressed by our service.”
On June 3rd 2012, a Dana plane crashed into a residential area in Lagos state, killing the entire 153 passengers and crew members on board, in addition to other victims in the residential area. The Federal Government promptly seized its license, but restored it 93 days after the crash, provoking outrage across the country.
The Airline is already planning to resume operations soon and has commenced demonstration flights as stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Although this award was presented based on the Airline’s performance in 2011, do you think this award is insensitive coming at a time when the pain and loss from the crash is still fresh in our minds?