Many Nigerian travellers who were looking to fly into the country have been left stranded after an air traffic control strike grounded flights in and out of West and Central Africa on Friday.
According to a Reuters report, staff at the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar, which regulates air traffic control across 18 countries, downed tools on Friday as remonstration over working conditions and pay, defying court rulings and government bans barring them from doing so.
A source, who was due to fly into Nigeria from South Africa told Saturday PUNCH that his flight, which should have departed the O.R Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg to Nigeria on Friday night was grounded as a result of the strike action.
“Our flight has been grounded. We’re basically stranded here,” the source said.
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ASECNA told customers to check airline websites for updates.
“In spite of the prohibition of the strike by all the courts… the Union of Air Traffic Controllers’ Unions has launched a wildcat strike,” ASECNA said on Friday.
“We have already exhausted both administrative and institutional remedies in the management of this crisis, but we have in front of us trade unionists who are stubborn to do whatever they want,” ASECNA’s head of human resources, Ceubah Guelpina, told a press conference.
The USYCAA union said in a statement that its members would cease providing services to all but “sensitive” flights until their demands are satisfied.