By Chinedu Eze
Contrary to expectations, many passengers bought tickets and travelled with Dana Air’s first scheduled commercial flight from Lagos to Abuja yesterday, which also officially marked its kick off of operations seven months after it was banned by the Federal Government following the crash of its flight, MD 83 J9 992 in Lagos on June 3, 2012, killing 163 persons.
In a flight dominated by journalists, entertainers and airline officials were also passengers, who wanted to be part of the airline’s first flight, including a man with his three children and a couple with eight months old baby.
Just as many people have said that they would not fly Dana Air because of the accident; there were many Nigerians who also said that if the airline started operation they would be the first people to board their flights; a decision that was confirmed yesterday.
On-board the flight which took off by 9:47 am from Lagos to Abuja were comedians like Bright Okpocha (Basketmouth) who is the airline’s ambassador, and Buchi as well as singers DIPP, Harrysong, Quda Dance Crew, Nigerian’s Street Dance Champions and others.
Journalist from both local and international media covered the event, which could be described as historical because Nigerian airlines rarely survive when their flights are involved in a crash.
Head of Communication of Dana Air, Tony Usidamen said that before the airline flight crashed that the management had planned to acquire new aircraft, a plan that has become urgently imperative after the crash.
The airline’s intention to re-fleet was confirmed yesterday by a director of the airline, Mr Francis Ogboro who said that Dana Air would acquire brand new Boeing aircraft to expand its fleet, in the next six months, remarking that the plan to purchase other aircraft type has nothing to do with the MD 83 that crashed on June 3, 2012.