By Samson Echenim
One of Nigeria’s leading carrier, Dana Air says its newly acquired aircraft, a Boeing 737-300, is part of a deliberate management plan to take a bigger chunk of the air travel market in Nigeria, as it charges the government to deepen air transport infrastructure and ensure constant supply of aviation fuel.
The airline, which maintains its flights have always been on time said “with the recent acquisition, we would continue on our excellent service delivery and see how we can incorporate other new routes.
“Yes, more aircraft acqusition means more passengers will be ferried and more options for guests. We cannot give figures now as the industry is dynamic but we can assure the market that the issue of fewer aircraft or capacity is being bridged by us,” Kingsley Ezenwa, Dana Air’s corporate communications manager, told business a.m on Wednesday.
Dana Air recently took delivery of one of its two ordered Boeing 737-300 in a strategic plan to expand its fleet and begin operation on new routes.
The two aircraft are the airline’s fully financed and fully owned, according to Obi Mbanuzor, Dana Air’s chief operating officer (COO) and accountable manager.
The airline said it expects more earnings with its recent investment in more planes, but noted that airlines need the support of the government to help their profitability.
“When it’s peak period for airlines, we are expected to have increased earnings, but the government needs to also come to our aid in terms of infrastructure, taxes and JET A1. We have been talking about these issues and its very important to look into [them],” Ezenwa noted.
The airline in its current strategic plans also will be phasing out its existing aircraft, the McDonnel Douglas (MD083) gradually.
“Currently, the Boeing aircraft is the most popular passenger aircraft in Nigeria. Dana Air went through a long road in this and we have had it as a plan for a long time but it was staggered due to economic and other realities as the case was but now have one of such aircraft, ” Mbanuzo said.
“Dana Air is slow and steady and methodological, we don’t open routes just like that but we take out time and on the recommencement of our West Coast routes, we have that as a plan maybe from 2020 upwards but for now we are concentrating on serving Nigeria routes,” he added.