Posted by Transport & Business Express | 25 August 2012 | 3,392 times
President Goodluck Jonathan has come under pressure to lift the ban on Dana Air even as some of the victims of the June 3 air crash in Lagos that killed all 153 persons on board and an unspecified number of people on ground are yet to be buried.
Apart from behind-the-scene moves to get the ban lifted, Dana Air staff yesterday took a full page in the influential Lagos-based Guardian newspaper to lobby President Jonathan to allow the company to resume flight operations.
Signed by Tony Usidamen, Head, Corporate Communications at Dana Air, the full-page advertisement went to great lengths to convince the President on the need to restore Dana’s Air Operating Licence (AOL), which was suspended on June 4, a day after Dana Management announced temporary suspension of operations in honour of the crash victims.
Dated August 8, the “Open Letter to His Excellency, The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan” contained “A Passionate Appeal by Dana Air Staff for the Lifting of the Suspension on Dana Air Operations”. Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah was copied.
The letter appealed to Jonathan “to please urgently lift the suspension on Dana Air operations in line with global best practices and international regulations.”
The Dana Air staff highlighted the company’s previous record of safety, the awards it had received and its charitable work.
They warned that “If the airline’s AOL is not restored immediately, the over 558 directly-employed Nigerian staff, plus countless others directly affected, including their families and dependants, risk losing their source of livelihood and being thrown into the cold aviation labour market. This excludes the large number of third party suppliers and agencies that also depend on the airline’s operations for the sustenance of their business.”
Transport & Business Express reports that a coroner’s inquest into the Dana Air crash is still ongoing in Lagos even as relatives of identified victims are collecting and burying their remains. Dana Air flight 0992, which originated from Abuja, had crashed into a two-storey building in Iju Ishaga, an outskirt of Lagos, shortly before 4pm, about three minutes before touch-down. There have been allegations that the aircraft was faulty, but Dana Air management has vehemently denied this.
*Photo: President Jonathan is being lobbied to allow Dana return to the skies two months after the deadly crash of June 3.
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