The umbrella Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) Tuesday said Nigeria lost 1,166 lives to 131 aircraft accidents between 1967 and 2012.
The figures were released at a press conference in the commercial city of Lagos, jointly addressed by AON Chairman Steve Mahonwu, Secretary-General Mohammed Joji, and Assistant Secretary-General Mohammed Tukur.
Joji, who read the group’s address, said the accidents involved both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
”None of these accidents is attributed to any mechanical failure of the aircraft, except the last DANA crash with a loss of its two engines,” Joji said.
The most recent air accident involved a DANA Air’s MD83 plane that crashed into a residential area on the outskirts of Lagos on 3 June, killing 159 people.
The crash forced the federal government to suspend the operating licence of the airline which has, however, been lifted.
The AON commended the government for lifting the suspension, but warned against the reported plan by the government to ban aircraft that are older than 22 years.
Instead, the group canvassed frequent maintenance of ageing aircraft, saying ”a well maintained old aircraft is better than a poorly maintained new aircraft.”