On Monday morning, many foreign flights at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) were canceled due to a strike by the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) demanding a pay raise.
One of the impacted travelers, Alex Nwuba, told BusinessDay that NAHCO employees left the international airport early on Monday and announced they were on strike and would not be handling any passengers.
“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.
Because they were held outdoors to prevent a catastrophe and no information, announcements, or emails were issued to travelers, he said that people are angry.
According to investigations, Nahco provides boarding, check-in, and ramp services for a number of foreign airlines, including Air France/KLM, Qatar, Ethiopian Airlines, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Turkish Air.
More flights will be grounded, according to travelers, if the problem is not resolved. BusinessDay was informed by a source at NAHCO who requested anonymity that management had met with the workers on Sunday to discuss the potential strike and had given them assurances that the issue would be resolved quickly.
Passengers would suffer enormous financial losses as a result of the scenario, according to aviation specialist Daniel Young.
“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.