Despite an air crash that claimed the lives of 153 people four months ago, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) over the weekend named Dana Air as the best domestic carrier for 2011.
According to FAAN’s Regional General Manager, Mr. Chris Bature, said the airline is yet to commence flights since the crash but was awarded the prize for its good customer relations and prompt payment of dues.
The Federal Government seized Dana Air’s license following the air disaster, but restored the license 93 days after the crash.
Speaking at the occasion, Bature stated that the airline was selected because of its outstanding performance and punctuality while Lufthansa Airlines was also selected as the best international carrier for the same period.
He explained that “mode of selection includes passenger capacity, frequency of the landing and take-off, their response to payment of bills.”
“Among the domestic carriers, they were the best. They had the best volume; they were punctual in their operations” he added.
Reacting to a question on the timing of the award which is coming four months after the June 3 Dana Air crash, Mr Bature explained that the award would have taken place earlier in the year and that the reward came after the operator’s license had been restored.
“In all fairness, they did their best and we need to recognize that and encourage them to get back to their feet,” he added.
Dana’s Station Manager at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport in Abuja, Mr. Kayode Adeniran, stated that the airline’s commitment to best customer service and timely departure earned its the award.
“We have this policy in our company that we must not delay passengers, we have introduced another type of system. If your flight is delayed by 40 minutes, we give refreshments to all passengers that already had their boarding passes. So people will be impressed by our service” he said.
He however lamented the loss of lives by the crash, stressing that the operator visited and commiserated with the families of the deceased.
To prevent such a recurrence, the station manager revealed that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has embarked on series of investigation to ascertain when the airline would be allowed to commence operations following the lifting of the ban on the airline by the federal government.
He noted that the airline has commenced demonstration flights as stipulated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and that the operation would run until NCAA certifies the carrier fit to resume full operations.
The Dana Air crash on June 3, killed the entire 153 passengers and crew members on board and a number of people as the plane crashed into a densely populated area of Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos state. A number of buildings were also destroyed by the crash.