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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

NAHCO Workers Suspend Strike as Discussions in Progress with Management

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Workers of the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO), have suspended their strike action which had earlier disrupted domestic and international flights in the country.

Airlines that use the services of were forced to abruptly stop operation when the company’s workers failed to turn up to provide service to the airlines early Monday morning.

The airlines, which did not have prior notice, were told that the workers of the company embarked on strike over issues relating to their wages.

“This is to inform you that the ongoing strike action by the staff union has now been suspended and discussions toward resolving the issues are in progress,” a mail sent out by Saheed Lasisi, Group Executive Director at NAHCO, seen by MoneyCentral said.

Passengers who turned up for early morning domestic flight service and passengers on international destinations became stranded as airlines stopped operation, waiting and hoping that there could be solution to the problem.

Nigeria’s major carrier Air Peace said it would lose about N500 million to flight cancellations, just as industry stakeholders condemned the strike.

Several flights that should emanate from the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), known as domestic terminal 1, where Arik Air and Air Peace operate most of their flights and the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two, (MMA2) Lagos were either being delayed or rescheduled.

International flights serviced by NAHCO that flew in early Monday morning to the Lagos airport departed with empty aircraft, losing huge amount of money in revenue.

One of such airlines was Qatar Airways, which arrived at the airport, discharged passengers and returned to its base without boarding hundreds of passengers waiting for the flight because NAHCO workers refused to service the plane.

Industry analyst and one of the passengers affected by the strike action, Alex Nwuba, said that NAHCO staff in the early hours of Monday walked out of international airport, saying they were on strike and would not handle any passenger.

“Even the Qatar flight I’m traveling with this morning landed and has returned to Doha as there was no one to handle the flight,” Nwuba said.

He said passengers were frustrated as they have been kept outside to avoid a crisis and no information, announcements or emails was sent to passengers.

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.

In one of the messages by Air Peace to its passengers, it explained that due to NAHCO strike, its flight schedule had 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.

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