On July 20th, 2022, DANA Airlines lost its permission to operate commercially in the country of Nigeria. Both the carriers’ Air Transport License and Air Operators Certificate were revoked in response to a recent audit that found the airline financially unfit to operate safe commercial flights. The Airline has since responded and is committed to regaining its airworthiness status as soon as possible.
A failed audit
An entire airline was shut down overnight following a failed audit. At midnight on July 20th, 2022, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) relinquished DANA Airlines Air Operators certificate and its Air Transport License. The airline continues to keep its offices open and has ensured the public of its commitment to reattain these permits and return to the skies shortly.
The directive from the NCAA was administered and signed off by Captain Musa Nuhu. It stated,
“The decision is the outcome of a financial and economic health audit carried out on the Airline by the Authority, and the findings of an investigation conducted on the Airline’s flight operations recently, which revealed that Dana Airlines is no longer in a position to meet its financial obligations and to conduct safe flight operations.”
No details have been shared about the audit or its findings. The report suggests that the airline lacks proper funding to sufficiently supply its flights and keep its aircraft airworthy. The NCAA is aware of the massive disruptions this will cause for air travel. It hopes that the traveling public will find understanding in this decision. It has made its position very clear, that safety will always come before convenience.
The airline responds
The airline released its statement on the matter on July 21st. It shared that it was fully cooperative with the audit. It went on to argue that the airline is positioned financially to conduct safe flights and that the limited funds were the result of factors beyond its control. It said,
“As an airline, we are not insulated from the multiple challenges that airlines and the aviation industry are grappling with daily, which includes the recent skyrocketing cost of aviation fuel at NGN830 naira [USD2] /ltr, the unavailability of forex, groundhandling services, inflation, and multiple taxation among other operational challenges, which airlines have made frantic efforts to communicate to the flying public and the government.”
Rising costs have undoubtedly put all airlines in a financial crunch. Regardless, airlines are still held to the same standards of safety. No exact discrepancies were cited by the Nigerian government. The revocation statement from the NCAA came one day after a DANA Airlines Boeing 737 made an emergency landing. All passengers disembarked safely, and the aircraft has since been grounded.
Two and a half months ago another DANA Airlines jet an MD-83 caught fire in Omagwa on May 2nd, 2022. No statement has been released by either party regarding whether either incident has contributed to the NCAA’s decision.
The Nigerian Aviation Authority revoked the certification needed to operate commercially in Nigeria from DANA Airlines. This was a result of a recent audit of the company’s finances. The Nigerian government has shared its stance that safety will always take priority. The airline has responded by stating that it will ensure a prompt return to the skies.
What do you think of the latest audit findings? Let us know in the comments below.