…Dana says not in talks with Ethiopian airline
Posted by Sade Williams
The strategic partnership between Dana Air and ASKY has begun yielding fruits as Dana Air on Monday, received the first B737-700 from ASKY as the airline said it was the beginning of its route and fleet expansion plans.
The airline also has clarified that its partnership is with ASKY and does not have any deals with Ethiopian Airline, ASKY’ company.
The Boeing 737-7000 touched down in Lagos from Abuja around 5:20pm with over a hundred passengers.
The aircraft exterior livery is ASKY’S while the interior takes Dana Air logo as the interline agreement indicates.
Speaking to journalists at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Chief Operating Officer of Dana Air, Mr. Obi Mbanuzo further the partnership was part of the carrier’s strategic route and fleet expansion programme.
“We have taken a bold step towards achieving our strategic route and fleet expansion programme. With this partnership, we shall be adding some brand new aircraft to our fleet soon.
“We have also had advanced talks with some other notable aircraft manufacturers and very soon, some of aircraft outside the country on maintenance will be arriving. This is part of our desire to provide options for pour guests who have been requesting us to consider some under-served cities in Nigeria. We want to assure our guests of our commitment to providing safe, reliable, affordable and world class air transport services in Nigeria”, he said.
Mbanuzo added that the deal is strictly between ASKY and Dana Air and not Ethiopian airline.
” I can tell you we have no discussion with Ethiopian, we had zero discussions with them. Even in terms of the aircraft, this is strictly between Dana Air and ASKY. For now, it’s an aircraft lease agreement and what we are getting in return, we are getting the aircraft, and we are giving the standard economic remuneration for that.”
He added that this deal will gradually strengthen Dana Air operations because two of its McDonnell Douglas (MD83) are currently undergoing C-Check in France with one expected back at the end of the month.
“When we announced in February that we are entering partnership with ASKY it involves so many things and the partnership people are already seeing the fruition. The initial partnership has various levels and what you are seeing now is the aircraft leasing aspect of the partnership, where ASKY will provide us with aircraft.”
” You know we have had some operational constraints, currently we have two of our aircraft in France undergoing C-Check, hopefully one will be back before the month end. Part of it is creating aircraft capacity. We are also preparing for fleet augmentation which is also successfully on track.
” As time goes on, this partnership will help our staff get acquainted and trained with the B737-700 aircraft type. Without going deep, it is part of what we are looking at in furtherance of this partnership’, he added.
Meanwhile, Dana Air said it might also be looking at entering into Codeshare agreement with some domestic airlines in order to offer seamless travel on the home front.