Reports from some Nigerian Newspapers suggest Virgin Atlantic Airways has pulled out of Nigeria after it was alleged that it sacked its cabin crew. However, the spokesperson for the company in Nigeria Kudirat Scott-Igbene denies this allegation claiming that the airline was only realigning its operational model in Nigeria. According to him;
“We have decided that we will no longer have crew based in Lagos. This is by no means a reflection on our Lagos based cabin crew, the primary purpose of our locally based cabin crew has been to provide cultural expertise, and customer feedback has shown us that this is no longer a requirement on the Lagos route.
“The additional complexity required to operate an international crew base where there are no foreign language requirement means it is no longer sustainable going forward,” she said.
“This announcement has no impact on our flying programme and we plan to continue flights between Lagos and London. After 14 years flying the route, we remain committed to servicing the Nigerian people, whether it be for business, family or education.”
The airline industry in Nigeria and around the world have been cutting down cost significantly reducing overheads and eliminating roles thought to be a duplication. Travel Agents also inform Nairametrics that leading carriers such as British Airways & Emirates have over the years downsized significantly closing down a lot of its local operations. Operations typically affected are customer service and ticketing operations where they either outsource to Travel Agents or carry out these operations themselves from a regional location that caters for several countries.
Virgin Atlantic Staff are said to have been circulating messages for people to Boycott the airline in solidarity to the sacked staff (thanks to NRI for the tip).
Richard Branson came to our country, took our money, used our people, disposed of them cruelly without any severance package!
We are boycotting virgin atlantic airways to show our solidarity with the sacked virgin atlantic nigerian staff! @lease spread to everyone you know! We have a voice! Use all your social media avenues!Richard Branson must here Nigerians tonight!