In a statement made available to aviation correspondents, Jacky Hathiramani, Chief Executive Officer of Dana Air, said “We are pleased to extend our world-class services to the good people of Akwa Ibom State. Indeed, the addition of Uyo on our route network is further proof of our commitment to the growth of Nigeria’s fledging aviation industry and in fulfillment of our promise to fly to key destinations across the federation.”
“At Dana Air, we recognize the importance of Akwa Ibom State in the socio-economic development of the country as an oil producing state. With the State playing host to several multinational companies in the oil & gas industry, we are confident that our new services from Uyo to Lagos and Abuja will make the State even more attractive to investors”, the Chief Executive Officer explained.
Hathiramani said that the new services from Uyo to Lagos and Abuja will operate seven days a week, Monday to Sunday. In his words, “From our operational base at MMA2 Lagos, we will operate one daily flight to Uyo at 10:35hrs with a return flight from Uyo to Lagos at 15:30hrs. We will also offer daily flights from Uyo to Abuja at 12:15hrs with a return trip to Uyo at 13:50hrs.”
Dana Air currently operates twelve (12) flights daily on the Lagos-Abuja-Lagos route, four (4) flights daily on the Lagos-Port Harcourt-Lagos route, two (2) flights daily on the Lagos-Enugu-Lagos and Lagos-Kano-Lagos routes, and two (2) daily connecting flights between the cities of Abuja and Kano.
At present, the Dana Air fleet consists of four (4) Boeing MD83 aircrafts which have a higher number of passenger seats and a larger cargo capacity than currently available in the country. The airline offers a two class service with 12 seats in its dedicated ‘Smart Class’ business cabin and 128 seats in its spacious ‘Traveler Class’ economy cabin.
Dana Air places a high premium on safety. The airline has a technical partnership with Iberia for maintenance of aircrafts in its fleet and adheres strictly to the maintenance schedule for its aircrafts, as prescribed by the manufacturers and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. More detailed and scheduled checks of the Boeing MD83 aircrafts are, however, carried out at the Iberia aircrafts maintenance facility in Madrid, Spain.
A subsidiary of Dana Group of Companies, Dana Air has become one of Nigeria’s leading airlines with a staggering 17.1% market share on the five (5) domestic routes it currently flies to, in just 13 months of its operations. In 2009, the airline was awarded ‘Best IT-Driven Airline of the Year’ by two (2) respected and independent Information Technology bodies in Nigeria.
Akwa Ibom State was created on September 23, 1987 out of the then Cross River State with Uyo as its capital. It is a major oil producing state which serves as operational base to a number of multinational companies. The government has, however, made attempts to diversify the state economy along the lines of mechanised agriculture, tourism and IT. This is typified by the Ibom Rice, IT parks initiatives, and the 5-star Ibom Meridien Hotel and Resort, and world class golf course.
The new Akwa Ibom International Airport, Uyo was officially commissioned on September 23, 2009.