Dana Air on Thursday said that it would lose N50 million daily following the grounding of its operation in the aftermath of Sunday’s crash.
The airline’s Director of Flight Operations, Oscar Wilson, gave the figure in Ikeja, Lagos, at a joint press conference held by the Dana Group and Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON).
A MD 83 aircraft in the Dana fleet crashed into a residential area in Iju-Ishaga on the outskirts of Lagos. All 153 persons on board the aircraft which was heading for the Lagos airport from Abuja died in the crash which also claimed the lives of some people on the ground.
Mr. Wilson said that the airline would be losing 2,000 passengers and N50 million daily due to the suspension of its operations in the wake of the crash.
According to him, the loss would amount to N1.5 billion in one month.
The Director reaffirmed that the airline’s insurer, Lloyds of London, is capable of paying the families of the crash victims N30,000 US dollars (N4.6 million) within the first 30 days of the accident.
He appealed to commentators and the public to stop speculating in the media about the causes of the crash.
“There have been many speculations from aviation experts on the crash. They said that the aircraft lost its two engines but it is when the result of the investigations come out that we will know the true position of things,” he said.
The Secretary of AON, Mohammed Joji, said that the purpose of accident investigation is not to punish people but to find a way to prevent a repeat of mistakes that could cause mishaps.
He explained that aircraft were made and are flown by human beings and the human error element in the cause of accidents is about 75 per cent.
Mr. Joji said that the airline business is capital intensive globally, and urged the Nigerian government to give concessions to airline operators and assist in bailing out those in difficult situations.
“The economy here is very good, that is why we have 24 foreign airlines operating in the country,” he said.
He also appealed to aviation experts and the public not to heat up the country over their comments on the crash.