Ahead of the planned resumption of commercial flight operations in Nigeria’s domestic aviation industry, Air Peace and Dana Air have carried out flight exercises in readiness to restart commercial services.
Dana Air on Wednesday carried out a dry run at the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2) and shakedown flights from Lagos to Port Harcourt and back.
According to a statement by the airline’s Media and Communications Manager, Kingsley Ezenwa, Dana Air had to carry out the exercise to demonstrate its readiness to resume flights as soon as the airspace is opened.
”Although all through the lockdown, we had our engineers on ground to ensure proper storage and steady maintenance of our fleet for resumption at any time, and as part of our post COVID resumptions plans, we had to get our team fully on ground on Wednesday for a dry run at the MMA2 terminal under the supervision of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)”.
”After a successful dry run, we conducted shakedown flights from Lagos to Port Harcourt with our newly acquired Boeing and MD aircraft in our fleet.
He noted that ”uncertainty is a normal sentiment among travelers and we had to carry out the dry run and shakedown flights strictly to guarantee the safety of our staff and valued customers. For us, following guidelines and standards is priority and.our customers can be rest assured that as restrictions are lifted, all we will be offering our guests is peace of mind on every flight.”
On Dana Air’s level of preparedness, Kingsley said ”Dana Air is 100% ready so is MMA2 and some other terminals we operate from. All Personal Protective Equipment have been made available for all staff, crew and passengers who might not come around with one.”
”All Recommended training, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for all staff have been updated and concluded. All our aircraft are fitted with HEPA filters which filter 99.9% of unwanted particles and viruses in the air. It also helps passengers breathe normally. All aircraft in our fleet have also been disinfected as recommended by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and we have an optimised cleaning protocol to provide all-round peace of mind for our guests.”
”We advise our guests to get to the airport at least 2 hours to their flights and also explore all our innovative online and self-booking platforms available at MMA2.
”As a customer- centric airline, we are also working on user-friendly booking and reservation processes which will guarantee social distancing and seamless travel for our guests ”
“We wish to also commend the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for the progress made so far, by being proactive, meticulous and engaging the stakeholders in the interest of the airlines, service providers, agencies, staff, customers and overall interest of the economy at large. Kingsley added.
Dana Air is one of Nigeria’s leading airlines with a total of 9 aircraft in its fleet, a mix of Boeing 737 and McDonnel Douglas. The airline is reputed for its innovative online products and services, unrivalled in-flight service and on-time performance.
Similarly, AIR Peace yesterday navigated the Nigerian airspace with several of its fleets of aircraft in shakedown flights as the airline’s mixed fleet of 25 aircraft which includes three wide body aircraft, the Boeing 777s all took to the skies flying to Abuja, Port Harcourt and back to Lagos without passengers.
According to nigerianflightdeck.com, these flights were aimed at ensuring that the aircraft are in tip-top condition, having been grounded for about three months though they have been under very strict storage maintenance.
The spokesperson of the airline, Stanley Olisa, who revealed this in a statement to journalists, said the shakedown flights are part of the measures the airline has developed to guarantee the safety of both passengers and crew when operations resume.
He noted that the aircraft have been in storage mode for a couple of months and extensive maintenance checks have been carried out to keep them up to the required standards.
Olisa said: “Within this period of flight ban, we have ramped up technical maintenance of all our aircraft, scaled up cabin refresh and carried out thorough disinfection to ensure they remain fit for the skies when the authorities flag off operations”. He added that the aircraft are now being brought out of storage and the pilots have been testing them, stressing that all pilots and flight attendants have been retrained in line with NCAA directives.
On the airline’s readiness to resume regular flights, he stated: “As you know, we have been operating ‘special flights’ to local and international destinations, and we have more of such flights in the works. This accentuates our preparedness for operation restart as our pilots, cabin crew and engineers have been hands-on and are very current. So, we are hundred percent ready to resume”.