of air travellers were left stranded on Tuesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International
Airport, Abuja as staff of the Nigeria’s biggest carrier, Arik Air embarked on
an indefinite strike.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that aviation unions had directed the
commencement of a joint strike with effect from Tuesday over the airline’s
failure to pay seven months’ salary arrears to their members.
joint union comprised of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE),
Air Transport Senior Staff Services
of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers
NAN correspondent visited the airport on Tuesday, there were no Arik workers on
their ticket counter while many passengers were lamenting the situation.
reports that the situation has been made worse by the fact that the bulk of
travellers from the airport fly with the airline.
domestic airlines are also not flying because aviation fuel scarcity.
official of the Airport who did not want his name in print told NAN that Arik
had been the only domestic carrier with the capacity to manage the passenger
said that the situation, if not urgently handled, could affect flight
operations during yuletide when there would be traffic upsurge.
passenger, Mr Isaac Debo, who said he was not aware of the development,
lamented that he had missed business engagement in Lagos.
who describe the situation as a national embarrassment for Nigeria, called on
the management of Arik to urgently address the issue and resume operation.
want to call on government to do something about the proposed establishment of
a national carrier, if there is a national carrier, people will not be taking
all this non-sense,’’ he said.
to get reaction of the management of the airline to the strike were not
successful as calls to its spokesperson, Ola Adebanji were neither answered nor
returned as well as text messages.
recalls that the unions had vowed that the strike would continue indefinitely,
until their demands were met by the management of Arik Air.