Dana Air on Thursday said that 90 per cent of its pilots and co-pilots were Nigerians in line with the Executive Order on Local Content Procurement.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the airline’s Director of Flight Operations, Mr Segun Omole, made the disclosure at the decoration of the five newly-trained pilots and co-pilots in Lagos.

Omole said the airline had boosted its Nigerian pilots from 20 per cent when it started to almost 90 per cent.

“When I joined Dana Airline, we were only two captains who were Nigerians while the rest were foreigners, and Dana believed that in the long run, they will have to transfer the management of the office to Nigerians,’’ he said.

Omole said that Dana Air had a total of 33 pilots comprising 16 captains and 17 co-pilots.

He said that 27 of them were trained and retrained in 2017 to meet up with the flight standard regulations.

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“Of course, on the corporate side, it is a very expensive cost to train and retrain pilots every six months, and Dana Air has not shied away from the training,” he said.

Omole said the airline had been training its pilots year in, year out.

“We still have seven pilots that are still under training, and about a month from now, we will be doing more decorations,’’ he said.

Omole said the five pilots that were decorated had gone through various flight trainings in and outside the country.

He said that three of them were First Officers while the two pilots had been promoted to Captain.

According to him, Dana Air remains committed to safety and comfort of its passengers, and will continue to do that by building the capacity of its workforce.

While congratulating the pilots, he urged them to maintain the airline’s safety records and serve the best interests of passengers.

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NAN reports that the trainees are First Officer Ayotunde Ilesanmi, First Officer Afolabi Damilola, First Officer Wahab Lawal, Capt. Ibrahim Kazeem and Capt. Slyvester Kalu.

One of the trainees, Capt. Slyvester Kalu, thanked the management on behalf of the trainees for giving them the opportunity to serve the airline better.

Kalu promised that they would always ensure safety standards for the benefit of the airline’s esteemed passengers.