June 4, 2024

STRIKE: Airlines count losses, resume operations

STRIKE: Airlines count losses, resume operations

By Dickson Omobola

Following the suspension of industrial action by the labour unions, air transport operations can now commence at the domestic wing of airports across the country.

General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Mr Ocheme Aba, who spoke to Vanguard, confirmed the development.

Aba said: “The strike has been suspended or, as the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has said, relaxed for one week. That window has been given by the tripartite committee to conclude on the minimum wage negotiations. All airports are now open for operations.”

However, the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, lamented the strike action, saying they suffered a multi-billion loss due to yesterday’s work stoppage.

Spokesperson for AON, Professor Obiora Okonkwo, told Vanguard that although those whose flights were cancelled would be rescheduled, it was a minus to airlines’ revenue stream.

He said: “I’m sure that before the end of the day, airlines would have started flying. The airlines were not on strike, it was the airports and labour that went on strike. Now, the strike action has ended and I am sure the airports have been opened. Some airlines should already be boarded for flights from one destination to another as we speak.

On those whose flights got cancelled yesterday, Okonkwo said: “it is a force majeure, they have to reschedule. It is a huge price that each of us (travellers and operators) has to pay because of the strike. Any day we don’t fly, it is a big minus to our revenue stream. Unfortunately, we still have to pay all members of our team the same amount they should be paid for the month.

“It is a huge price we have to pay for this. To quantify our loss in monetary terms is huge. We hope that they find a compromise within five days that would bring a permanent end. We don’t have control over recouping what we have lost. We will have to carry over our schedule. That is why we are called scheduled flight operators because everyday we have schedules.”