13th March, 2013
All Aero Contractors flights were grounded on Wednesday and passengers were stranded nationwide, following an industrial action embarked upon by staff of the troubled airline.
Nigeria’s second biggest airline has been struggling for almost two years and was last year taken over by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, because of its heavy debts.
Exact demands of the staff were not known at press time, but a source told our correspondent that they bordered on unpaid salaries and poor conditions of service.
Aero Management apologised in a brief statement for “the inconvenience suffered by our highly esteemed customers due to an abrupt industrial action by our staff which has led to grounding of all our scheduled operations.” The airline said it is engaging with the unions to find a quick and amicable resolution.
“Further details will be given in due course,” the airline said.
At the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2, passengers moved to board other airlines such as Dana Air and IRS.
Many passengers who had booked Aero flights online were yet to be attended to.
Aero Contractors has tried to cut costs for years and stopped giving passengers free snacks on board more than three years ago. It is the only airline in Nigeria that gives nothing to air travellers during flights.
With the price of Jet A1, as aviation fuel is known, now sky high, many Nigerian airlines have been struggling. While some have been grounded over the past year, others are simply gasping for breath.