A company executive for Dana Air, the Nigerian airline whose passenger jet crashed in Lagos on Sunday, 3 June, killing over 150, will fly again soon.
In an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, Gautam Hathiramani, a member of the airline’s board of directors, said the airline has faith in its fleet of MD-83 planes and will still fly them.
“We have no hesitation to fly them again because we’ve always had them fully serviced and they’re certified they’re airworthy before they go up in the air,” Hathiramani said.
Dana Air is still under investigation over the crash of Flight 992 into a densely populated part of the Lagos, but the airline has said it will fly again when it has been cleared.
Flights by Dana Air have been grounded by authorities who are currently investigating the safety of the airlines planes. Dana Air representatives have maintained that the 22-year-old Mc Donnell Douglas MD-83 plane which crashed into the residential building in Iju Ishaga, was not too old to fly.
Dana Air rose to the defence of other similar aircrafts in its fleet, all of which are over 20 years old.
“It’s a tried-and-tested model and it was the right size and configuration for the market,” Hathiramani said.
The company has repeatedly denied allegations that the aircraft was faulty and dismissed allegations by sources within the company that claimed they were forced to fly a faulty plane.
Dana Air in a press briefing admitted that the pilot of the ill-fated flight, Peter Waxtan, had radioed the Lagos Control Tower minutes before impact, reporting engine failure. However, the airline dismissed as speculation reports that both engines on the aircraft failed before the plane crashed and then exploded in Iju Ishaga.
Hathiramani said Dana Air continued to call on relatives of those killed in the crash to come forward and identify themselves so bodies can be claimed and insurance payments be routed to families, the AP wrote.
He understands families are angry and hurting, the report said, and has promised the airline will first understand why the crash happened before takign to the skies again.
“They have every reason to know what happened,” he said. “We’re just as equally committed to finding out the true cause of what happened here.”