By UCHE USIM
At last, embattled domestic operator, Dana Air, will commence its scheduled domestic operations today with a Lagos-Abuja service.
The airline went off the skies on June 3, 2012, when the aviation mmmministry via the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) following the crash of one of its MD 83 jets in Iju Ishaga area of Lagos that killed 163 people and destroyed property worth billions of naira.
Since then, the airline had battled for its return into operation and on December 5, 2012, the NCAA issued new AOC to the airline after it satisfactorily scaled the safety audit.
But the regulatory agency, NCAA, told the airline management in clear terms that it would not be allowed to fly until it begins to pay the outstanding 70 per cent of the $100,000 to families of victims of the crash as stipulated by law.
Having also showed sufficient evidence of this, the NCAA gave the airline the all clear nod to commence scheduled operations.
Reacting to the resumption of flights, the spokesman of Dana Group, Tony Usidamen, extolled the NCAA for its support, adding that the airline would begin with a Lagos-Abuja-Lagos flight today, after which it would gradually introduce other routes it hitherto flew to.