Dana Air’s staff urge government to lift suspension
The staff members of Dana Air have appealed to the president to reinstate the Air Operating Certificate (AOC) of the airline, which was suspended by the Ministry of Aviation in June. Their letter reads:
In the history of the Nigerian aviation industry, no other airline that has suffered a similar accident has responded in the way the management of Dana did. Besides honouring its duty to the victims’ families, the airline has continued to pay the salary of its staff, which amounts to about N110 million monthly. Dana Air is, perhaps, the only airline in Nigeria that pays salary as at when due. If the airline’s AOC is not restored immediately, the over 558 directly-employed Nigerian staff, plus countless others indirectly affected, including their families and dependants, risk losing their source of livelihood and being thrown into the cold aviation labour market.
In a response the Ministery of Aviation declared it will not yet lift the ban on Dana Air:
We want to make sure that every aircraft in their fleet is air worthy. The suspension will be lifted. But I recall that when the crash happened, everybody was shouting ban them; ban them. Now people are saying lift the suspension. We want to be sure that by the time they come back, they will operate safely.
And according to the NCAA the suspension is indeed a punitive political measure:
The operations of Dana Airlines were suspended by the Federal Government of Nigeria following the intense emotions and sentiments that greeted the plane crash. It was the Federal Government’s reaction to the anguish that pervaded the country in the aftermath of the crash. (…) However, Dana can continue to carry out maintenance of their aircraft while it is not out of place to operate outside the country until all issues surrounding the suspension of their AOL (Air Operator’s Licence) is resolved.