By Lawaani Mikairu
LAGOS—Dana Air partnership with ASKY Air commenced on Monday with the arrival of one of the three aircraft that will be used to kick start the partnership agreement that include an interline and codeshare. The wet-leased aircraft, a Boeing 737-7000 touched down at the Muritala Muhammed Airport, Lagos from Abuja around 5:20pm with over a hundred passengers.
Speaking with aviation reporters, Chief Operating Officer of Dana, Mr. Obi Mbanuzor said the partnership with ASKY involves so many things. The initial partnership has various levels and “what you are seeing now is the aircraft leasing aspect of the partnership, where ASKY will provide us with aircraft.” He however clarified that Dana Air has a lease and interline agreement with ASKY and does not have any deal whatsoever with Ethiopian Airline, ASKY’s parent airline.
Mbanuzor further clarified that Dana is not planning to give the Togolese carrier, or any other the “ opportunity to do fifth freedom”. This partnership deal with ASKY gives Dana Air the opportunity to fly early flights to Abuja on an ASKY aircraft with Dana call sign, Dana in-flight services and catering.
Mbanuzor said: “ When we announced in February that we are entering partnership with ASKY, it involves so many things and people are already seeing the fruition. The initial partnership has various levels and what you are seeing now is the aircraft leasing aspect of the partnership, where ASKY will provide us with aircraft.”
” You know we have had some operational constraints, currently we have two of our aircraft in France undergoing C-Check, hopefully one will be back before the month end. Part of it is creating aircraft capacity. We are also preparing for fleet augmentation which is also successfully on track.”
“For this partnership, ASKY is partnering with three (3) Boeing 737-700 aircraft there will initially be three flying at different times, it’s a complex wet lease operation and so they will provide and aircraft and they might take it and put another in the system. There is also a 737-800 as well all being used interchangeably. As time goes on, this partnership will help our staff get acquainted and trained with the 737-700 aircraft type. Without going deep, it is part of what we are looking at in furtherance of this partnership,” he said.