Dana Air has threatened to downsize over the continued blockade of Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) private terminal by aviation unions, saying it lost over N100m to the disruption.
MMA2 is operated by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) which is in a running battle with the unions over the disengagement of 20 of its workers.
The BASL management had gotten a court order from the Federal High Court to stop the picketing which started on Wednesday but the unions went ahead.
However, airlines operating in the terminal including Dana Air, Med-View, Overland, Azman Air, Max Air and Arik Air had to relocate to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) to operate their flights.
But Dana Air in a statement by its spokesman, Kingsley Ezenwa lamented the continued blockade, saying despite the relocation to GAT, the facility might not be able to accommodate the influx of passengers.
The statement read “We wish to sincerely apologize to our teeming guests who missed their flights as a result of the dispute between aviation unions and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2), Ikeja Lagos state.
“While operating our first flight out of Lagos from MMA2, we made alternative arrangement and moved our operations temporarily to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT).”
“Our worst fear however is, if the terminal will be able to process the number of passengers when there is a coincidence in flight schedule with over 8 airlines having to operate from the General Aviation Terminal at the moment.”
“While we have been engaging our guests who are on our future flights seeing that the industrial action entered Day 2, we appeal to the parties involved to resolve the dispute in consideration of the passengers for whom we are all in the industry to serve. Without the passengers, there won’t be any airline, regulator or industry and we believe they shouldn’t suffer for what they did not contribute to.”
“For now, we have lost over N100m to the ongoing action and losing such money in an industry where airlines are still grappling with a myriad of challenges is unacceptable and disappointing to say the least. We do not know how the situation will be in the coming days and we might have no other option that to downsize if the action stretches for too long.
“While we respect the rights of both parties to engage each other based on extant laws, we call on all concerned to intervene and save the industry from further crises.
“At the moment, MMA2 remains the terminal that provides guests the best in terms of facilitation and we wish to thank our guests for their constant support and understanding. We wish to also reassure our guests of our commitment to continue to offer the best of service at all times”.