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Dana Air Loses N18bn To Grounding

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Dana Air Management
says it has lost about $25 million (about N18 billion) revenue since its operation was grounded on October 5, 2013, by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
This was disclosed in a statement by the airline’s Head of Communications Mr Tony Usidamen, who hinted that the airline’s financial report for 2012 showed that the airline, which is Nigeria’s third largest carrier with a fleet of seven aircraft carrier with N14 billion last year had so far lost about N4 billion in revenue in 2013 due to the suspension of its services.
Usideamen said since the airline’s inaugural flight on November 10, 2008, Dana Air had completed 21, 915 flights carrying about 18 million passengers with an on time performance of about 90 per cent.
In a fresh appeal letter to the Minister of Aviation Ms Stella Oduah, Usidamen lamented that since NCAA directed the management of Dana Air to immediately suspend its flight operations to allow for an operational audit, nothing had been done.
He said as a result of the indefinite suspension an with no clear direction from the NCAA as to how the audit process would proceed, the airline directed its Nigerian and expatriate staff to proceed on compulsory leave without pay, with a promise to recall members of staff as soon  as the audit was completed.
Usidamen said it was the uncertainty occasioned by the alleged inaction of the NCAA regarding the audit three weeks that about 540 directly employed members of staff of Dana Air wrote an open letter to NCAA on October 31, this  year, pleading with it to commence the audit.
Reacting to Dana Air’s statement, the General Manager, Public Affairs of NCAA, Mr Fan Ndubuoke, said the airline’s operations was grounded for safety and technical reasons, noting that the aircraft in the fleet of the airline had recorded unusual number of engine failures which has not been experienced in the past by scheduled operation aircraft in the country.
Mr Ndubuoke said it was engine failure that caused the crash of last year which killed 153 people on board, stressing that the airline should stop appealing to emotions and face the reality which was in order to avoid the loss of human lives in air accident.
He said the external audit team was expected to arrive the country soon to ascertain whether the airline would continue operation or it would be grounded until it changed its fleet.
“The external auditors will arrive this weekend.  NCAA can do the audit but Dana has been having engine snags and after the crash they were audited but they continued to have the problem, that is why NCAA decided to secure the services of external auditors”, Ndubuoke declared.

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Aviation

COVID-19: Arik Airline Sacks 300 Staff

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At least 300 staff of Arik Air have been relieved of their appointments by the airline’s management.

This was announced in a statement by the airline on Friday.
It blamed the sacking on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The press statement was titled, “Arik Air management declares 300 staff redundant”.
The company explained that a redundancy package would be provided for the affected workers with the help of the aviation unions.
The statement read in part, “Arising from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the constrained ability of the airline to complete heavy maintenance activities and return its planes to operations, stunted revenues against increasing operational costs, the management of Arik Air (In Receivership) has declared 300 staff members redundant to its current level of operations.
“The leadership of the impacted unions has been contacted to negotiate a redundancy package for the affected staff.”
The airline added that over 50 per cent of its workforce of over 1,600 staff have been on furlough in the past six months.
In a separate statement also forwarded to our correspondent by its Public Relations and Communications Manager, Banji Ola, the airline apologised to passengers whose travel plans were disrupted by the protest carried out by the National Union of Air Transport Employees on December 3, 2020.
The picketing disrupted operations in Lagos and prevented the airline from processing passengers at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Domestic Terminal 1 and 2.

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S’East Leaders Laud FG Over EndSARS

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South-East leaders on Saturday, lauded the Federal Government on the matured and responsive manner it handled all issues relating to the EndSARS protest and agitation.
The leaders of the zone, which included Governors, Senators, House of Representatives members as well as traditional, religious and youth leaders, gave the commendation in a communiqué issued after their meeting with a Presidential delegation in Enugu.
The presidential delegation was led by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who is the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We thank President Buhari for the speed and restraint with which he handled the EndSARS protest, which has engendered peace throughout the country, especially the South-East.
“We, therefore, request the President to look into demands of various groups and youths with a view to resolving them,’’ the statement, which was read by the Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor Dave Umehi, said.
It also called for joint operation by security agencies and local vigilant groups into all forests in the zone to flush out criminals and killer herdsmen with AK47 rifles.
“But we pledge our commitment to continuous coexistence with peaceful herdsmen who have been living peacefully with us.
“We stand for an indivisible and united Nigeria, built on love, fairness, equity and justice. We believe that under this platform – NIGERIA; we are bigger and stronger,’’ it said.
It also called on the Federal Government to continue its support and diplomatic push for the former Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to be elected as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The statement thanked the Federal Government for the timely interventions in Akanu Ibiam International Airport rehabilitation as well as intervention in road infrastructures in the zone.
“We are grateful for the attention given to the second Niger Bridge and completion and inauguration of the Zik’s mausoleum.
“However, we urge the Federal Government to give attention to the completion of the current road projects within the zone,’’ it said.
The statement said that the states in the zone will provide money for the compensation for those affected by the EndSARS protest, help to rebuild police stations and their logistics; while engaging the youths constantly to forestall any violent development in the zone.
“We have plans to set up various empowerment programmes to gainfully engage the youths. The governors also plan to mainstream the youths in their governance to give them a sense of belonging.

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Minister Hails Meeting With S’East Leaders

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described as “extremely fruitful” the meeting which a presidential team had with leaders and stakeholders of the South-East.
“The meeting of the presidential delegation with South-East leaders was very useful,’’ Mohammed told journalists on Sunday in Enugu.
The delegation, led by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, met for more than eight hours in Enugu with selected South-East leaders.
Mohammed said that it was quite instructive that all the groups which took part in the meeting believed in the unity and oneness of the country, pointing out that they clearly spelt out this in their presentations.
“We listened clearly and carefully to all the positions and demands and we are going back to report directly to President Buhari,’’ the minister said.
He noted that the Federal Government had been spreading development and infrastructure to all parts of the country, simultaneously and equitably.
“We want the South-East people to be confident that the Federal Government is spreading development and infrastructure to all parts of the country equitably and will never marginalise any zone in the ongoing development and infrastructure agenda.
“This is what I want to assure Nigerians living in the South-East,’’ Mohammed noted.
According to the minister, when the team gets back to Abuja it will see what can be done immediately concerning some of the positions and demands made by the South-East leaders.
The presidential delegation met with South-East governors, statesmen, elders, religious and traditional leaders, as well as market women and youth leaders.

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