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Aviation Blues: Airlines’ ground staff strike disrupts flights at Lagos Airport

Some Stranded Passengers at the MMIA, Ikeja, Lagos

*Air passengers are stranded as airlines ground handlers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Monday, January 23 embark on industrial action at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, over demand for increased salaries and other improved welfare conditions

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Several international air passengers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), in Lagos, got stranded as the ground handlers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) commenced strike  Monday, January 23, 2023.

ConsumerConnect learnt the disruption of flight operations at the MMIA especially affected Royal Air Maroc and Qatar Airways at the airport.

Airlines’ ground staff while on duty   File Photo

The protesting ground handlers are seeking increased salaries and other improved welfare conditions.

NAHCO had gone to court and obtained an injunction stopping the workers from embarking on strike, according to report.

An official of one of the unions at the airport, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATTSSSAN), which confirmed the strike, however, clarified that the workers embarked on the industrial action, and not by the union, Channels TV report stated.

Also confirming the development Monday, certain Olúwatósìn Olaseinde (@tosinolaseinde) tweeted via his Twitter account, that “Airlines Ground handlers on Strike @ Lagos Airport.

“No Departure Check in & No Arrival of Flights for now Departing Passengers Stranded.”

It is recalled the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) nah in a recent statement had directed the Union members to withdraw services from the airport.

NUATE had stated: “In the above regard, all NAHCO staff are hereby directed to withdraw services with effect from Monday, January 23, 2023.

“This action shall be definite until otherwise directed by the secretariats of the unions.”

Some of the flights disrupted so far by the industrial action include those of Royal Air Maroc, which was stopped by protesting ground handlers around 2a.m., as well as that of Qatar Airways Monday, report said.

NAHCO handles check-in, boarding and ramp services for many international airlines including Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air France/KLM, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish Air as well as several Nigerian airlines including Air Peace.

Report indicates the industrial action coincides with President Muhammed Buhari’s planned state visit to Lagos, as he is expected in the state Monday and Tuesday to commission some projects.

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