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DANA Air Resumes Domestic Flight Operations Seven Months After Crash as Victims Yet to Receive Compensation Cry for Justice

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Seven months after its fleet was grounded following the crash of its flight 992 on a scheduled flight from Abuja to Lagos which killed over 160 people, Dana Air will resume domestic flights today.

Following the crash of its plane in Iju-Ishaga, a Lagos suburb, on June 3, 2012, aviation authorities had temporarily grounded the airline. However, the airline will conduct its inaugural flight from Lagos to Abuja at about 9.45am today.

The airline’s spokesman, Tony Usidamen, who confirmed this yesterday told Vanguard that all arrangements had been concluded for a seamless flight.  The airline yesterday had a pre-inaugural flight from Lagos to Abuja, but he added that the flight had no commercial passengers on board, except some officials of the airline. According to him, full commercial operations will begin today with the first commercial flight taking off at 9.45 am from Lagos to Abuja.

He also confirmed that the airline’s reservation system had been abuzz with intending passengers making their bookings, saying that explained the reason the flight would be real-time.

According to ThisDay, the inaugural flight would have on board government officials from regulatory agencies such as the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), and entertainers such as Basket Mouth, Denrele, Karen Igho of Big Brother Africa fame, Durela, Buchi and Bovi.

The Federal Government through the NCAA revoked the company’s operating licence shortly after the crash pending proper investigations. In September 2012, the Federal Government reinstated the airline’s licence and allowed it to resume, only with test flights. And then in December 2012, NCAA issued a new Air Operators Certificate to Dana Air after it completed the necessary re-certification processes.

With the resumption of flights, Dana Air would become the second Nigerian airline involved in a crash in the last 10 years that was allowed to fly. The first was Bellview Airlines.

But, the victims of the crash, who are yet to be compensated for property lost to the disaster said the airline had been unfair to them. The victims, including widows and young parents with many children, have cried out to both the Federal and Lagos State governments to ensure that what is left of their lives is not shattered. Those who spoke to The Nation lamented the insincerity with which the airline has treated their case. Spokesman of ‘seriously affected victims’ Chike Okwuosa said he was disappointed that the Federal Government allowed the airline to address their matter with levity. He said even after writing several letters, nothing has been done. “They wrote more than two months ago that they needed additional information, which he (my lawyer) forwarded to them. But till now, nothing has been done; instead, we heard they are resuming their business when they have destroyed ours. Is that fair?”

Pastor Daniel Omuwunmi, who lost over N500 million to the disaster, said the airline, after a series of letters from his counsel – Messrs Dele Adesina and Co., made an offer of $30, 000. Omuwunmi, who spoke through a counsel at the law firm of Olumide Olaiya, told The Nation that the offer was rejected because the airline had not even written to accept or negotiate his claims. “They have not done anything. We never heard from them until the last working week of December when they made an offer of $30, 000 to Pastor Omuwunmi as advance payment. What are they advancing? All the efforts we made to bring them to the negotiation table were rebuffed.”

Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at www.deolascope.blogspot.com

9 Comments

  1. Kayode Tijani

    January 4, 2013 at 9:05 am

    My advise is for the Nigerians to be careful of DANA Air Lines.

  2. Soum

    January 4, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Hmmmmmm…..interesting….
    Bovi I still love u ooooo

  3. Hmmmmmmn

    January 4, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Basket Mouth, Denrele, Karen Igho of Big Brother Africa fame, Durela, Buchi and Bovi una don collect blood money abi. You guys can sleep at night after collecting money, and the victims families haven’t received compensation, not even a formal apology explaining why there has been a delay. Hmmmmn, this is 2013 o, we saw the repercussions of some people’s actions both in Nollywood and in Government in 2012, make dem no count una name too in 2013 0. The blood of the victims will judge all of you. BN if you like don’t post my comment. This is disgusting on so many levels. Yet these stars you all adore over red carpet pics pasted all over your site. This is their true colours. All in the name of money

  4. Dammylola_

    January 4, 2013 at 10:14 am

    @ hmmmmmmmmm totally agree

  5. flo

    January 4, 2013 at 3:26 pm

    This is just sad! They have not even compensated those families.. If Dana was the only airline to fly with in Nigeria I would use Road!

  6. splendid ..............iyke

    January 4, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Dana u hav 2 b sure of ur air crafts dis time b4 rederin services 2 peopl……….n d celebrities u guyz should tink about humanity 1st………bc he who pulls a triga in a market can neva tell who d bullets will xplod on……………….tink n re-tink again n again……..

  7. rona

    January 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    how can you so called celebrities agree to fly when they have not yet finished compensating the lives affected by the crash.. ?? people dies..properties lost! oh! God will fight their battle! what kind of world are we living in? this is unbelievable. no wonder karen was making noise on twitter supporting dana air. they don pay u abi! instead of you celebrities to say “no i will not fly dana until u pay the victims.” shaking my head in disgust!

    • rona

      January 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      died*

  8. Uche Unogu

    January 8, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Wow! A little bit too soon, if you ask me.

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