Low Patronage Hits Dana Air, as PH Int’l Airport Reopens for Operations
Normal flight operations resumed on Wednesday morning at the Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers State following a shutdown of operations last Tuesday evening when Dana Airlines aircraft suffered a near mishap its overshot the runway and ended up in the bush.
Although the 44 passengers and five crew members were safely evacuated from the plane, passengers shunned the Dana Air platform when the runway of the Airport was reopened by 9am Wednesday for operations.
The airport’s runway was shut down by the Federal Airport Authority (FAAN) from the period of the accident at about 6:50pm Tuesday until 9:00am on Wednesday morning when normal flight operations resumed.
When journalists visited the airport on Wednesday morning, there were frantic efforts by passengers to reschedule flights as the Federal Airport Authority (FAAN) Port Harcourt reportedly shut down operations after the incident.
Also the check-in and ticketing area of Dana airline was almost empty, with the few persons there either asking for refund or rescheduling their flights.
It was gathered from a staff of FAAN who wished not to be named that the accident quick response team of DANA Airline had earlier visited the accident site for necessary assessment and luggage clearance.
The staff stated that the assessment team’s verification came before the runway was re-opened for flight operations.
Although efforts to reach the Public Relations Officer of DANA Air was not successful, some passengers expressed dissatisfaction over poor handling of information as regards the crash.
A passenger, Mr Eru Omana, said the airline should have been temporarily suspended until proper investigations were concluded and the safety of the airline ascertained.
“It is so unfortunate the manner issue that concerns human life is treated, without appropriate information on this crash Dana is already flying this morning.
“I understand there are no casualties but proactive steps should be taken to check re-occurrence and this can only be reached when investigations are carried out,” he said.
The Dana aircraft flight 9J0363 from Abuja to Port Harcourt airport was still in the bush where it stopped after overshooting the runway as at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was still being expected at the accident site.