Nigeria’s CAA suspends Dana Air’s permits

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended the Operating Licence (OL) and Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) of Dana Air (9J, Lagos) indefinitely, with effect from midnight July 20, it announced in a statement issued that evening. The airline has said it is cooperating with the authority in a bid to resume flight operations.

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 Air is no longer in a position to meet its financial obligations or conduct safe flight operations,” the statement said.

Dana Air responded in its own statement on July 21 that it had “commenced the operational audit as advised by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and we are fully cooperating with it to ensure our quick return to flight operations.”

It added: “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.”

Pledging that its offices will remain open, and advising customers with unused tickets to apply for refunds, Dana Air concluded that it remained “very hopeful and very confident of our position.”

The certification suspension came a day after a Dana Air B737-300 made an emergency landing in Abuja after encountering an engine problem midair. All 100 passengers on board disembarked safely and the aircraft “has been grounded for immediate attention by our team of engineers,” the carrier said at the time. It said that the affected aircraft was 5N-DNA (msn 28400) and added that “the NCAA has been briefed on the incident.”

That came two-and-a-half months after the tyres of another Dana Air jet, MD-83 5N-JOY (msn 49944), caught fire at Port Harcourt Omagwa on May 2, terminating a scheduled trip to Lagos that day.

In total, Dana Air operates two B737-300s, one MD-82, and three MD-83s, which are aged between 25 and 36 years, according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module.

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