The troubles of Dana Air whose aircraft crashed in Lagos on June 3 this year seem unending as the airline which was recently reissued an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has sent all workers on compulsory/indefinite annual leave because it has yet to get the permission to commence flight operations.
A source from the airline told our correspondent that that the airline which had employed additional staff following the reissuance of AOC by the regulatory authority had prepared to actually start operations during this Christmas and new year period but was prevented from doing so due to issues relating to compensations and aircraft type in use following the House of Representatives' Committee on Aviation report on the Dana Air accident.
The House's report had among other things raised the issue of competency of the NCAA director general Dr. Harold Demuren as well as the use of the MD 83 aircraft type used by Dana Air which it alleged had been rested from use globally.
The source said the recent pronouncements by the House of Representative Committee on Aviation which has told Nigerians that the aircraft type - MD 83 aircraft used by Dana has been rested globally disorganized the airlines plan to recoup on some of its losses during this period.
The airline thus had no option than to ask all categories of workers to go on the compulsory and indefinite annual leave pending when issues relating to is operations are sorted out.
The source however said the compulsory annual leave would be converted as the staff's annual leave when the airline eventually starts flight operations.
Dana Air had engaged new staff both pilots and engineers when NCAA reinstated its AOC a few weeks ago.
Though the source said the management would still pay the staff their monthly salaries, it however informed the affected staff that the compulsory leave will be converted as staff's annual leave eventually.
When contacted, Tony Usdiamen, DANA Air spokesman confirmed that the management decided to send the staff on leave to enjoy the Christmas and New Year holidays with their families pending when the airline gets the final approval from the Ministry of Aviation and the presidency to start operation.