One of Nigeria’s leading domestic airlines, Dana Air, on Friday took possession of its first-ever fully-owned B737-300 aircraft.
The airline said the acquisition of the 737 aircraft, the first of the two it acquired, was part of its fleet expansion plan which would enable it open more routes.
The 737 aircraft, the most common plane used by the country’s domestic operators, was a turning point in the operation of Dana Airline which has operated with the McDonnel Douglas (MD083) aircraft.
The new aircraft with registration number 5N-DNA and a configuration of 143 passengers arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) from Italy around 1:30 am this morning, it was learnt.
It however taxied to its base at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA2) Terminal two, as it was welcomed by a ceremonial water canon salute by the aerodrome and fire-fighting unit of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Accountable Manager, Obi Mbanuzor said the second Boeing aircraft numbered 5N-DNB would arrive Nigeria in few weeks even as he disclosed of plan to grow the airline’s fleet to nine before the end of the year.
Besides, he talked of plan to phase out the MD83 aircraft which the airline has used since the commencement of its operations.
According to him, the airline went through a long road to acquire the Boeing 737 aircraft to satisfy the yearning of its guests.
He said, “Currently, the Boeing aircraft is the most popular passenger aircraft in Nigeria. Dana Air went through a long road in this and we have had it as a plan for a long time but it was staggered due to economic and other realities as the case was but now here we are.”
Mbanuzor said the airline would soon open more routes and solidify its already existing destinations in Nigeria.
“Dana Air is slow and steady and methodological, we don’t open routes just like that but we take out time and on the recommencement of our West Coast routes, we have that as a plan maybe from 2020 upwards but for now we are concentrating on serving the Nigerian routes,” he said