Dana Air flies again

Nigeria lifts a ban on the airline after June's crash in which 159 people died.

Rescuers and firefighters work at the scene of the crashed Dana Airline plane in the densely populated Toyin Area of Iju Ishaga in Lagos, on June 4, 2012. Picture: AFP.

ABUJA - Nigerian airline Dana Air can fly again three months after one of its jets crashed and killed 159 people, aviation authorities said on Wednesday, even though the cause of the crash has still not been made public.

The Dana Air flight, a McDonnell Douglas MD-83, crashed into an apartment block in a populated Lagos suburb in June, killing everyone on board and six people on the ground.

"The federal government has lifted the suspension of the Operating Licence of Dana Airlines," Joe Obi, spokesman for the aviation ministry said in a statement.

"This follows government's satisfaction with the air-worthiness of the airline after a rigorous technical, operational and financial audit."

He added that this meant Dana was free to resume commercial flights. Little is yet publicly known about why the airliner crashed.

The pilot reported dual failure just before the plane went down, but the results of an investigation launched into the crash have not been made public, despite the black box voice and data recorder being recovered.

Air crashes are relatively common in Nigeria, which despite being Africa's second biggest economy has had a poor air safety record, although it has improved in the past few years.

Most of the dead on board the Dana crash were Nigerians, although a family of six Americans of Nigerian descent was killed, as were four Chinese citizens, two Lebanese, a French woman and a British woman.