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Dana Air suffers low patronage: Pegs fare to N18,500

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Few days after resumption of operations, Dana Air began on a shaky ground. Information available to ENCOMIUM Weekly revealed that though the airline resumed operations fully on Sunday, January 26, 2014, flight has been skeletal due to low patronage. ENCOMIUM Weekly’s check revealed this is not unconnected to the fact that most people are not aware of their resumption and the unpalatable circumstances surrounding the prestigious airline in recent times. We confirmed on Friday, January 31, 2014 that as a means of wooing passengers, the airline has pegged the airfare from Lagos to Abuja at N15,500 for online purchases and N18 ,500 for those who buy at the counters.

We spoke to one of their representatives who did not divulge her identity and she confirmed the story to us. “For now we only fly Lagos to Abuja and the airfare for online booking is N15,500 while it’s N18,500 for those at the counters.”

More than three months after it was grounded for technical and safety reasons, Dana Air resumed operations on Sunday, January 26, 2014. Information available to ENCOMIUM Weekly revealed that the airline lost over N 2 billion since it was shut on Saturday, October 6, 2013.

We learnt Dana Air flies an average of 1,000 passengers daily with each paying about N20,000. Thus, N20 million was lost daily over a period of 100 days. Consequently, the total amount of lost revenue comes to about N20 billion.

A statement from the airline made available to ENCOMIUM WEEKLY on Sunday, January 26, 2014, stated that following the successful operational audit of Dana Air by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the airline is set to recommence full commercial flight operations that day.

“The resumption of Dana Air’s flight operations comes on the heels of the lifting of the suspension by the regulatory agency as the airline has demonstrated satisfactory competence in operating the Boeing McDonnell Douglas (MD-83) aircraft fleet,” the statement signed by the airline’s management said.

Dana Air came into being in 2008. It has 5 planes in its fleet. Before June 2012, Dana Air operated six routes which include Lagos, Abuja, Calabar, Kano, Port Harcourt and Uyo. On June 3, 2012, a McDonald’s Douglas MD-83 flight 992 crashed into a two storey building at Iju Railway, Ishaga, a suburb of Lagos. All 153 people on board the aircraft were killed. Following the crash, all flights by Dana were halted by NCAA. The airline’s license was restored in September 2012, before the inquiry into the accident was concluded. On October 6, 2013, their license was once again suspended.

 – FEMI OYEWALE

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