Saturday, January 05, 2013

There is no need for anxiety, says Dana Air pilot

A pilot in Dana Air, Captain Victor Ola Olukayode, yesterday assured customers of their safety, as the airline operated for the second day running following its resumption of service.

Dana was suspended last June on account of the crash of its plane at Iju, a suburb of Lagos, preparatory to landing during a flight from Abuja.

All 153 passengers and crew members died in the crash. At least five others on the ground were killed.

Captain Olukayode who flew Dana plane to Lagos from Abuja said the resumption of service should now put an end to the anxiety and skepticism triggered by the June 3,2012 crash.

The pilot, who has been flying for 32 years, said the airline will continue to place high premium on personnel training, especially its pilots and engineers.

On the flight-an MD 83-were the chief pilot of Dana, Captain Clifford Wadally, journalists and other passengers, including the National President of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Benjamin Okewu, popular comedian, Mr Bright Okpocha, also known as Basket Mouth and a director of Dana, Mr Francis Ogboro.

Ogboro spoke of the plan by the airline to acquire brand new aircraft in the next six months with a view to expanding its fleet.

The new aircraft may include Boeing 737.

He said the airline had commenced the payment of the outstanding 70 per cent ($70000 per passenger) to families of the victims that have completed the documentation.

Nine families have already been paid.

Dana Air , he said , has put behind the crash of June 3, 2012 behind it and is forging ahead to comply with all the requirements of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

He also said some investors have approached Dana Air with a view to investing in the airline.

Ogboro further explained that as testimony of the loyalty of passengers, some have booked flights till next week, all in a bid to demonstrate that the airline did not set out to experience a crash, but noted that accident could happen.


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