Accra: An aircraft in Nigeria that crashed killing 193 people is not Indian owned, an airline official said.
Dana Air, owners of the Boeing 803 carrier that crashed on June 03 in Lagos, Nigeria is not an Indian company and the only connection with India is its managing director, Jacky Hathiramani, group communications manager Dana group Tony Usidamen told a news agency over phone.
"Dana Group is wholly owned registered company in Nigeria with Nigerians as directors but, we have a managing director Jacky Hathiramani who is Indian," Usidamen added.
Usidamen could not immediately confirm the number of years that Mahendra Singh Rathore, the co-pilot on the flight who lost his life, had spent with the company.
A company statement had said: "The first officer had flown 1,100 flight hours, 800 of which (were) on the MD83 aircraft."
On June 03, the aircraft crashed on a flight from Abuja to Lagos, killing all 146 passengers and seven crew members and another 40 on the ground.
The company said: "The aircraft had totalled over 60,000 flight hours.... Its last 400-hourly check was May 30, 2012 while the statutory annual maintenance is not until September 2012."
Aviation Minister Stella Oduah told reporters on Tuesday that the airline has been suspended indefinitely for operational safety reasons pending the outcome of investigations into the crash.
Dana Airlines Limited (Dana Air) is a member of Dana Group of Companies Plc.
The airline began commercial flight operations on November 10, 2008 and has grown to become one of Nigeria's leading airlines, operating daily flights to Abuja, Calabar, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Uyo.
The airline currently has five Boeing MD83 aircrafts in its fleet.
Dana Air is part of the Dana Group which started operations in Nigeria in the 1980s. In addition to pharmaceuticals, the group diversified into bulk import of industrial chemicals, commodities, polyethylenes, automobiles, and electronics.
First Published: Wednesday, June 06, 2012, 15:25