Passengers stranded, International flights cancelled in Nigeria as NAHCo suspends operation at MMIA


International passengers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos were stranded as workers of aviation ground handling company, the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCo Plc) suspends operation.

The worker insisted that they will not commence operation until their salary issues are addressed.

NigerianEye gathered that Royal Air Maroc, and Qatar Airlines passenger flights have been turned around while Virgin Atlantic, which is on the ground, is offloading with their staff and the cargo is still on the aircraft as NAHCO staff refused to work only passengers were disembarked.

NAHCo handles check-in, boarding, and ramp services for Delta, Turkish Air, Ethiopian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Qatar, and Air France-KLM amongst other international carriers.

As of 8:30 am, stranded passengers that travelled with Virgin Atlantic were pleading with the workers’ union to rescind their action while looking for an amicable resolution.

Many of Virgin Atlantic’s passengers are students who are returning to schools in the United Kingdom. Many of their parents and guardians in Nigeria and the UK were heard calling their wards in a bid to know the next line of action.

According to the General Sales Agent (GSA), Virgin Atlantic Airways, John Adebanjo, the situation had left our passengers in a panic situation.

“We are optimistic that the situation will be resolved and passengers allowed to board for their 10:00 am flight.”

It was gathered that the passengers had arrived at the international wing of the Lagos airport for their flights. They were oblivious to what awaited them. Many were seen yelling at some NAHco workers for choosing to embark on strike as confusion reigned at the terminal.

A traveller who spoke to newsmen disclosed that there was a major problem at the airport as NAHCO staff walked out of the international Airport, saying they’re on strike.

“All NAHCO handled flights shut down as passengers are going crazy but kept outside to avoid a crisis. I’m here at the airport.

“Even the Qatar flight I’m travelling with this morning landed and has returned to Doha as there’s no one to handle them

We need to get on this problem asap before the situation escalates,” he said.

Another traveller stated that NAHCO workers on Monday morning as early as 7:00 am told passengers that they were on strike and were not ready to work until their demands are met.

“We are frustrated at the airport with no information from the airline.”

There were indications that more airlines could be affected by the problem created by the company.

A source at NAHCO who craved anonymity revealed that the management had met with the staff on Sunday over the proposed strike but assured that the situation will be addressed soon.

Not a few believe that the situation may have caused a lot of financial losses to the company, and airlines and disrupted the travel plans of many passengers.

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