The Federal Government has again suspended the Air Operators Certificate of Dana Air. With the withdrawal of the airlines’ certificate, it has become impossible for the embattled carrier to continue flight operations.
This is coming less than one week after the sack of the director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Harold Demuren and barely three months after the airline resumed operations following a seven-month suspension. After the June 3rd 2012 crash of one of its aircrafts that killed 163 people, the airline had its operating license initially revoked.
In a telephone interview with Punch, the Acting Director-General, NCAA, Joyce Nkemakolam, confirmed the development and said the suspension, which took effect on Saturday morning, would last until the safety issues were rectified by the carrier. He said the suspension followed a directive from the Ministry of Aviation, asking the airline to stop operation until “some safety issues that cropped up over the weekend were resolved.”
Tribune reports that the development may not be unconnected with the recommendations of the National Assembly after their investigations on the crash. Both the House of Representatives and Senate had earlier in the year passed a resolution asking the Federal Government to revoke the operating licence of Dana Air and to remove the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, among other things.
Dana Air, in an email sent to its customers, however said no specific reason was given for the action. The statement signed by the Head, Corporate Communications, Dana Air, Tony Usidamen read:
“We regret to announce the temporary suspension of our flight operations following a directive from the Ministry of Aviation through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority on Saturday, March 16, 2013; no specific reason was given for the action.
“A meeting is, however, scheduled between the management of Dana Air, the Ministry of Aviation and the NCAA on Monday, March 18, and we will update you as we get more information. We thank you for your patience and understanding, and we look forward to having the pleasure of welcoming you on board again shortly.”