Nigeria lifts flight suspension of Dana airlines

ABUJA, March 18 Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:13pm EDT

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ABUJA, March 18 (Reuters) - Nigeria's Aviation Ministry has lifted a brief flight suspension against Dana Air, the airline involved in the country's deadliest plane crash in the last 20 years.

The ministry said on Monday it reversed a Saturday decision to suspend Dana flights over "safety issues" with one aircraft after a meeting with the Nigerian airline's staff.

"At the end of the meeting, the suspension of the operations of the airline which took effect last Saturday was lifted. The airline is to resume normal operations immediately," Joe Obi, special assistant to Aviation Minister Stella Oduah, said.

In June, Dana Air flight 992, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 , crashed into an apartment block in a populated Lagos suburb, killing 153 people on board and 10 others on the ground.

Dana was suspended then, but was allowed to start flying again in September, despite an incomplete inquiry into the cause of the crash.

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan fired the head of the aviation authority last week and has proposed a replacement to the Senate.

Africa's second biggest economy has one of the world's worst airline safety records, although it has been improving in recent years. (Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Tim Cocks, editing by Paul Casciato)

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