Thousands of air travellers are stranded at airports across West Africa as air traffic controllers in the sub-region embarked on an industrial action effective Friday.
The air traffic controllers under the aegis of the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) are protesting working conditions and remuneration, amongst others.
ASECNA regulates traffic control in 18 countries, especially in francophone West Africa. The countries are Benin, Burkina, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Congo, Ivory Coast, France, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Togo and Comoros.
The air traffic controllers defied court orders and government bans, forbidding the strike.
The development has affected outbound and inbound flights across West Africa as many regional and international travellers are stranded at airport like Senegal’s Blaise Diagne International Airport, amongst others.