23 Oct 2012

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) announced on Monday that it has no regrets for choosing Dana Airline as ‘the best domestic carrier for 2011’, following derogatory comments about the body’s choice.

FAAN had, on Friday, named Dana Air as the best domestic airline in the ‘Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport 2011 Staff Awards’.
The award, which were in different categories, also include best staff, best airline (local and international), best oil marketer, best luggage handling company and best concessionaire.

The Regional General Manager of FAAN, Chris Bature, said that the airline deserved the award; despite criticisms following its recent air mishap.

153 passengers and crew and 10 people on ground were on June 3 killed when a Dana Air plane crashed into a residential area at Iju-Ishaga, Lagos. The airline’s operating license was withdrawn, but later released after authorities said investigations into the cause of the crash did not implicate the airline.

Bature maintained that the airline excelled among domestic carriers in 2011. He said the award was determined before the plane crash, adding that FAAN could not have denied the airline, due to the crash.

“The award was for 2011; as at then, there was no mishap and it would not be right that we deny them because of the last June 3 plane crash that affected the airline,” he said. “There were perimeters we look at before giving the award, part of which is volume of passengers, payment of commercial dues as at when due, punctuality of departure and staff conduct.

“The airline emerged the best among the domestic airlines. Even if we are to judge it based on 2012, the year is not over yet after all. Investigation is still going on as to the cause of the plane crash; it could be due to human error and we cannot blame it on the airline.”

Bature explained that the essence of the award was to encourage the airlines and the other awardees in carrying out their duties in line with best aviation practices, and that FAAN did the right thing by giving the award to Dana Airline.

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