Passengers were left stranded at the Murtala Moammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos on Monday, after the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) embarked on a strike over salary increment.
In a video that has gone viral, several passengers were stranded at the international airport, moving about helplessly with their luggage.
NAHCO provides ground handling (cargo/ramp), passenger services and other services to several international airlines including Air France/KLM, Qatar, Ethiopian Airlines, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Turkish Air.
The NAHCO staff members were said to have walked out of the international airport in the early hours of Monday, saying they were on strike.
The development grounded both arrival and departure flight schedules, leaving travellers frustrated as no prior communication was sent to passengers on the strike.
Reacting to the development in a tweet, Oluwatosin Oladeinde, chief executive officer (CEO), Money Africa, said: “Airlines ground handlers on strike at Lagos Airport. No departure check in and no arrival of flights for now departing passengers stranded.”
A source at NAHCO who craved anonymity told BusinessDay that the management had met with the staff on Sunday over the proposed strike but assured that the situation will be addressed soon.
Meanwhile, Air Peace, in an update by the management on Monday, said due to the industrial strike being embarked on by all staff of NAHCO, “flights across our network will be disrupted today”.
“The strike has affected the operations of all airlines being handled by the company,” the update said.
“While we monitor the situation and hope things return to normal soon, we regret the impact of the disruptions on your travel plans and plead for your understanding.”