Dana Air suspends flight operations
By LAWANI MIKAIRU & DANIEL ETEGHE
LAGOS — DANA Airline yesterday, announced the suspension of all its flight operations nationwide.
This came as staff of Aero Contractors, who had been on strike were expected to resume work today following an agreement reached with management.
Disclosing this to newsmen, Head, Corporate Communications, Dana Air, Mr. Tony Usidamen, said the airline had to suspend its operations following a directive from the Ministry of Aviation through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, on Saturday, March 16, 2013.
Mr. Usidamen, however, pointed out that no specific reason was given for the action but stressed that a meeting between the management of Dana Air, the Ministry of Aviation and the NCAA would hold today.
”We thank you for your patience and understanding, and we look forward to having the pleasure of welcoming you on board again shortly.”
It will be recalled that the Federal Government had last Saturday, revoked the Air Operator’s Certificate, AOC, of Dana Airline following the ill-fated crash of June 3, 2012 where 163 people were killed.
This is the second time the airline’s licence would be withdrawn as the Federal Government withdrew the Dana Air’s AOC barely 24 hours after the accident occurred in 2012 until January 4 this year when it was returned to it.
Meanwhile, the resumption of Aero Contractor workers followed the agreement reached at a meeting brokered by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu.
It was gathered that the Minister through the Lagos State office of Federal Minister of Labour, mediated between the workers and management of the airline in the prolonged labour issues between the two parties.
The workers were locked out by management of the airline following failed negotiations.
The workers had insisted that the Human Resources Manager, should be removed as the manager’s activities, according to the workers, were anti workers.
Part of the agreements reached, Vanguard gathered was that unions should continue with their negotiations with the management since a 14-day ultimatum had been renewed.
In a letter dated March 13, 2013, addressed to the acting Managing Director of Aero Contractors by the two secretaries of National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Associations of Nigeria ATSSSAN, Mr Abdul Kareem Motajo and Olayinka Abioye, the unions advised management of the airline to imbibe the culture of dialogue.
The unions had accused the management of lying against them in a petition it sent to the Police. The workers described the petition to the Airport Police Command as “damaging lies and innuendoes that can not be substantiated.”