by ‘Jola Sotubo
The recent suspension of the operations of Dana Airlines came as an unexpected development for many but moreso it has reportedly left the staff of the airline battling despair and dismay.
The airline had its operations suspended pending an audit of its affairs by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The staff of the airline have spoken up about their predicament and have used the voice of the company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Tony Usidamen.
Full statement below:
In compliance with the October 6, 2013 directive by the NCAA for Dana Air to suspend its flight operations to allow for an audit of the airline’s operations, the management of the company shut down its operations without delay.
Subsequently, as a result of the suspension (and understandably so), the airline directed its Nigerian and expatriate staff to proceed on compulsory leave without pay, with a promise to recall staff as soon as the audit process is completed.
It is now 3weeks since the NCAA directive and, though the airline is open and ready for the planned audit, it is worrisome that the NCAA is yet to commence the audit and no clear direction or timeline has been given to the airline for completion of the same.
The continuous grounding of Dana Air is causing untold hardship for the hitherto gainfully-employedstaff of the airline, and with NCAA’s inaction regarding the audit, there appears to be no relief in sight to the sufferings of the airline’s staff and their numerous dependants.
NCAA’s action or inaction is not without consequences for the average Nigerian traveler with the few airlines left taking advantage of the dearth of operators to hike fares and offer poor services to helpless customers. Businesses and nation’s economy are negatively impacted too. Need we mention the negative signals being sent to potential investors in the sector?
It is for these reasons that we, the over 540 directly-employed Nigerian staff of Dana Air, are appealing to the NCAA to save us and the airline by carrying out its statutory role devoid of sentiments and political interference, and commencing the planned operational audit of the airline without any further delay.
At Dana Air, the safety and comfort of our guests and crew has always been a major priority and we pledge to continue to offer our full cooperation to the NCAA and all other relevant agencies in ensuring safer skies as we strive to consistently deliver world-class air transport services to our esteemed guests.