Several international and flights across local and international airports in Nigeria on Monday morning were shut down as Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) embarked on strike over salary increment.
Several passengers at Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two, (MMA2) Lagos and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) were seen waiting outside the airport terminal for their flights which were either being delayed or rescheduled.
Alex Nwuba, one of the affected passengers told BusinessDay that NAHCO staff in the early hours of Monday walked out of international airport, saying they were on strike and will not handle any passenger.
“Even the Qatar flight I’m traveling with this morning landed and has returned to Doha as there’s noone to handle them,” Nwuba said.
He said passengers are frustrated as they have been kept outside to avoid a crisis and no information, announcements or emails was sent to passengers.
BusinessDay’s investigations show that Nahco handles check-in, boarding and ramp services for several international airlines including Air France/KLM, Qatar, Ethiopian Airlines, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish Air.
Travellers say if the situation is not addressed, more flights will be grounded.
In one of the message by Air Peace to it’s passengers, it explained that due to NAHCO strike, It’s flight schedule has changed.
“Your 6:15am flight, P47420, Lagos to Kano for today, 23rd January, 2023 will now depart at 10:00am. We honestly understand the resulting consequence and regret the effect of this unexpected time change on your travel plans. Please bear with us,” Air Peace stated.
Read also: NAHCO equipment ram into aircraft at Lagos airport
A source at NAHCO who craved anonymity told BusinessDay that the management had met with the staff on Sunday over the proposed strike but assured that the situation will be addressed soon.
Daniel Young, an aviation analyst said the situation will result in collosal financial losses by passengers.
“These individuals who pepertrate these actions are obviously oblivious of the long term efffects of some of those insensitive decisions they take.
“This behaviour by NACHO staff potrays the company as one whose self distruct code is activated. Even more so, it affects the overall perception of the country and the aviation industry. Timely intervention by concerned leadership is required before the whole industry implodes,” Young said.