THE Media and Communications Manager, Dana Air, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa, says the airline is targeting between 6.3 million and 7 million passengers by first quarter of 2020.
Ezenwa made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.
He said that Dana Air had flown over 5.4 million passengers in the past 11 years of its operations in Nigeria.
“We are excited about this and we are looking to possibly double or triple the figure in the next nine years.
“We have commenced reviewing plans and we are working toward improving our services and achieving even bigger market share.
“In the past 11 years of our operations, we have flown over 5.4 million passengers. Between now and first quarter of 2020, we should be hitting 6.3 to 7 million,” he said.
Ezenwa said in achieving this, the airline recruited highly- trained and motivated individuals and ensured due diligence in this regard.
According to him, the airline presently has a staff strength of over 900 and about 6,000 indirect workers.
The spokesman said high cost of fuel, multiple taxation, forex, infrastructure, among others, remained big operational challenges but government was doing a lot in addressing these.
“There are challenges and we under the umbrella of the Airline Operators of Nigeria are engaging the government on these challenges.
“Though the Federal Government is doing a lot but we need these efforts to be fast-tracked so the passengers can start reaping the benefits.
“We are engaging the government on these challenges and we believe the government is committed to providing the necessary infrastructure, policy and economic support for us to have a thriving industry.
“We hope the government gives necessary attention to the pressing needs of domestic airlines so that we would have an industry available to all and not the few rich ones in the society,’’ Ezenwa said.
According to him, when there is increase in Jet A1 fuel, it affects a lot and these are some of the issues they are engaging the government on and also proffering necessary solutions.
“We have been able to manage these issues properly as a result of our sound understanding of the industry and the workings.
“We have a sound management team, passionate and committed workforce and a good product.
“With these, we have been able to sustain our operations and we hope that the government taps from our wealth of experience having operated consistently for the last 11 years,” he said.
Ezenwa said the airline recently acquired two Boeing 737 aircraft, saying that the company was doing a lot in the area of technology to create seamless travel to its passengers.
He said the company was also investing in innovations to improve customer experience and provide seamless travel to its passengers.
Speaking on regulation, he said that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was expected to regulate according to global best practices.
Ezenwa said that NCAA regulations were in order and internally Dana Air also regulates itself.
“ We ensure that necessary procedures are followed as a safety-conscious airline and also work with the regulators to achieve what is best for the industry and the flying public.
“We collect charges on behalf of the NCAA and Dana Air transfers such amount to NCAA on a weekly or monthly basis after reconciliation. This is just the situation,’’ he said. (NAN)