Thousands of air travellers across West Africa are stranded at airports as flights have been cancelled across the sub-region. This came as the staff of the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA) embarked on a 48-hour strike. The Agency regulates air traffic control across 18 countries, including Nigeria.
The agency’s staff were said to have stopped working on Friday, sequel to a dispute over working conditions and pay, defying court rulings and government bans barring them from doing so.
With the strike, flights in and out of West and Central Africa have been grounded, causing chaos for passengers travelling to Europe, the United States and inside Africa.
Nairametrics gathered that the strike is to last for 48 hours in hope of any urgent intervention to rescue the situation.
What they are saying
Announcing the development to a group of Nigerians who were scheduled to depart Johannesburg to Lagos on Friday, an official of Asky Airline that was expected to take off from the O.R. Tambo International Airport early Saturday morning to Lagos said to passengers who were already being checked in: “We are sorry, we have bad news. Your flight has been cancelled because air traffic controllers are on strike. We will contact you when we are able to fly.”
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Check-in counters of major airlines at the O.R Tambo International Airport in South Africa on Friday night were deserted as many air flights ticketing workers had left their duty posts.