Flights across local and International airports in Nigeria were shut down as Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) embarked on strike on 23rd January 2023 over an increment in salary. It was gathered that passengers were seen stranded outside at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) Lagos and the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMIA) over delayed flights or rescheduled flights. Alex Nwuba, one of the affected passengers stated that NAHCO staff in the early hours of Monday walked out of the international airport, saying they were on strike and will not handle any passengers. “Even the Qatar flight I’m traveling with this morning landed and has returned to Doha as there’s none to handle them,” Nwuba said. He said passengers are frustrated as they have been kept outside to avoid a crisis and no information, announcements, or emails was sent to passengers.
Reports have it that NAHCO handles check-in, boarding, and ramp services for several international airlines including Air France/KLM, Qatar, Ethiopian Airlines, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Turkish Air.
In one of the messages by Air Peace to its passengers, it explained that due to the NAHCO strike, Its flight schedule has changed. “Your 6:15 am flight, P47420, Lagos to Kano for today, 23rd January 2023 will now depart at 10:00 am. We honestly understand the resulting consequence and regret the effect of this unexpected time change on your travel plans. Please bear with us,” Air Peace stated.
Daniel Young, an aviation analyst said the situation will result in colossal financial losses for passengers. “These individuals who perpetrate these actions are obviously oblivious to the long-term effects of some of those insensitive decisions they take.
“This behavior by NACHO staff portrays the company as one whose self destruct code is activated. Even more so, it affects the overall perception of the country and the aviation industry. Timely intervention by concerned leadership is required before the whole industry implodes,” Young said.