Abuja – The Management of DANA Airline on Wednesday said that it would commence its flight operations very soon, the spokesman of the airline, Mr Tony Usidamen, said.
Usidamen told journalists that the airline had commenced its certification with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) following the lifting of its suspension by the Federal Government on Sept. 5.
He said that the airline would commence flight operations once the NCAA was through with the certification process, adding that the airline would also test run its aircraft in accordance with the NCAA guidelines.
“We are already doing our certification and conducting refresher training for our cabin crew. We are also doing post psychological training for them.
“I cannot say the particular date when we would start flying because it depends on when NCAA will be through with the certification, but I hope it will be in the next couple of weeks.
“Flight test running is a normal process, which will have to be carried out with the NCAA officials during the certification process and we are looking forward to it,’’ he said.
On the issue of compensation to the families of the plane crash victims, the NCAA Director-General, Dr Harold Demuren, had earlier told newsmen that only 62 families had received compensations.
“Non-submission of letters of administration and other relevant information by relatives of victims of DANA plane crash has delayed payment of the initial 30,000 U.S dollars (N4.6 million) to about 70 of the relatives.
“Other challenges include multiple claims by some families, delay in release of DNA results and submission of incorrect documents by some family members.
“The aircraft and the passengers on board were insured for 350 million U.S. dollars.
“More than 20 foreign families, whose relations died in the crash had instituted court cases in the U.S and the UK against the airline,’’ he said.
Demuren said that the challenges had slowed the pace of payment of the initial 30,000 U.S Dollars to some of the families that lost their bread winners in the June 3 crash at Iju Isaga in Lagos State.
Also speaking, Mr Ibraheem Hassan, the Deputy Commissioner, Technical, National Insurance Corporation of Nigeria (NICON), said that care was being taken to avoid paying compensation to wrong claimants.
“If we pay the wrong claimant, there will be no money to be paid twice when the genuine claimant appears, so we have to be very sure of the identity of the person we are paying the money to.
“That is why we are asking for letters of administration from the Probate Registry certifying that the claimants are the genuine families or next-of-kin of the deceased,’’ he explained.