Nigeria's aviation minister, Festus Keyamo, has directed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to suspend operations at Dana Air (9J, Lagos) following a recent runway excursion at Lagos that raised concerns over the safety and financial viability of the airline, the regulator said in a statement.

The authority confirmed that on April 23, Dana Air's sole MD-82, 5N-BKI (msn 49482), had veered off the runway on landing at Lagos. It said that "the nosewheel had retracted, the nose of the aircraft collapsed, and the aircraft veered off the runway into the grassy area." All passengers and crew were unharmed.

In a letter to the NCAA on April 24 and seen by The Cable newspaper, the Aviation Ministry said: "The Honourable Minister has directed that you immediately initiate the suspension of Dana Airline's [sic] fleet until a comprehensive audit can be conducted. This audit should encompass all aspects of safety protocols, maintenance procedures, and financial health to ensure full compliance with our aviation regulations."

This was confirmed by the NCAA statement, which said the suspension of Dana Air's air operator's certificate (AOC) would take effect on April 24 at 2359L (2259Z) and was a "precautionary step" to allow for "a thorough safety and economic audit". This would entail a re-inspection of the company, procedures, personnel, and aircraft, while the economic audit will examine the financial health of the airline to guarantee its capability to sustain safe flight operations.

The authority announced that the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) had commenced investigating the incident. The NCAA would implement safety recommendations resulting from the investigation while it carried out its own in-house safety assessment of the incident.

ch-aviation has reached out to Dana Air for comment.

Apart from the MD82, Dana Air's fleet includes three MD-83s and two B737-300s, ch-aviation fleets data reveals.

In July 2022, Dana Air faced an indefinite suspension of its Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) by regulators due to financial and safety concerns. Operations resumed on November 8, 2022, but the fleet of six aircraft was grounded in February 2023 over maintenance issues leading to a halt in business until March 16 of that year when one aircraft was cleared for service.