Dana Airlines Limited started operations in November 2008. Headquartered in Ikeji, they pride themselves as “The Smartest way to Fly”. In less than ten years of existence, Dana Air has created tons of news. They have become a well-known name even beyond the aviation industry. Here are five facts that you should know about.
1, Dana Air suffered a crash in 2012
On Sunday, June 1, 2012, Dana aircraft Boeing 803 flying to Lagos from Abuja crashed in Ishaga, a suburb of Lagos. The crash killed all 147 passengers and six crew members including ten people (at least) on the ground as it crashed on a residential area. The crash was greeted with outrage in Nigeria. With Boko Haram becoming bolder in its atrocities, the crash of an aircraft was an added log in the tragic pyre in the country.
The crash was a reminder of the precarious nature of the aviation system in Nigeria which has affected many airlines in Nigeria and occurred in nearly every administration since independence.
On May 4, 2002, an EAS Airline BAC 1-11 crashed in Kano. The plane took off in Jos, heading to Lagos via Kano. It crashed in Gwammaja a densely populated area in Kano, destroying at least 23 houses, killing all 78 people on board and at least 70 people on the ground.
On October 22, 2005, Bellview Airline Boeing 737 crashed in Lisa town in Ogun State. The plane was headed to Lagos from Abuja. All 117 people in the plane which include six crew members perished. Notable casualties in the crash include Mohammed Waziri, chairman of Nigeria Railway Corporation, Ojang Omar, director of Research and Documentation, Nigeria Press Council. The cause of the crash has not be made known.
Two months later, on December 7, Sosoliso Airline McDonnell-Douglas plan heading to Port Harcourt from Abuja crashed at the airport in Port Harcourt. The crash killed the 108 with just two survivors. The bulk of the dead were students of Loyola Jesuit College Abuja. Popular relationship preacher Bimbo Akintola died in the crash.
The next year, on October 29, an ADC Airline Boeing 737-200, crashed in Abuja just after take-off on its way to Sokoto, killing the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Maccido, Abdulrahman Shehu Shagari, son of the former president, Senator Badamasi Maccido and 93 others.
Dana Air crash remains the major crash till date. In March 2017, the Accident Investigation Bureau released a report blaming the crash on engine failure and “lack of situation awareness, inappropriate decision-making and poor airmanship.”
On January 26, 2018, Dana Air plane hits a fence while trying to park having successfully landed from Port Harcourt.
2, The company is owned by an Indian
After the crash of its plane, then Dana Air group communications manager Tony Usidamen denied that the company is foreign-owned. He was quoted as saying, “Dana Group is wholly owned registered company in Nigeria.” This is not the whole truth as Dana Air is a subsidiary of Dana Group, a company founded in 1991 by Birbal Singh Dana in Dubai. Dr Dana is an Indian surgeon whose service includes fifteen years in the University Hospital in Libya.
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Besides aviation, Dana Group is into electronics, pharmaceuticals, surgical equipment, polyethylenes, water bottling, automobiles, steel, manufacturing, importation and exportation of commodities in Asia and Africa.
3, It has more destinations than planes
Dana Air is not Fly Emirates. They don’t have more than 200 planes on their fleet. In fact, they have six planes. Dana Air travels to seven destinations including Accra, Ghana. More destinations than they have planes. According to planespotters.net, Dana Air’s fleet of planes have an average age of 26 years. The average age of the fleet is rather the norm in Nigerian aviation were planes built in the 1980s and 1990s, used in Europe and America and retired are purchased for flights in Nigeria.
4, Dana Air Owns the only plane in Imo Air
In January 2017, Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha made a big show of Imo Air, an Imo State-owned airline that would provide jobs to Imo State indigenes, give them flight subsidies and raise capital for the government. During the flag-off of the airline, Rochas said that that was the pilot project and that: “We hope in the future this project would blow into a full-scale airline.”
It is not a full-scale airline, the governor admitted. It is not even an airline at all, claims SaharaReporters. In an investigation following the launch of Imo Air, the website traced the history of the aircraft as a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 that was manufactured in 1990 and served Alaska Airlines before concluding that the governor lied about Imo Air. The Plane belongs to Dana Air. The plane is operated by Dana Air. But there is a giant IMO AIR scripted on the body of the plane. This, however, doesn’t make it Imo air.
5, They constantly make top 50 brands in Nigeria
Dana Air in January 2018 was named among the top 50 brands in Nigeria for 2017. They made the list in 2016 and 2015. The airline made the list based on its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), national spread, popularity, online engagement and innovations. The announcement was made at the Brands Nigeria Leadership Forum.