Air passengers stranded in Lagos as aviation workers strike grounds int'l fights – Newstrends
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Air passengers stranded in Lagos as aviation workers strike grounds int’l fights

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Many international flights were on Monday grounded at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos as workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc commenced an indefinite strike over salary increment.

Most of the foreign carriers operating into Nigeria are clients of NAHCO.

One of the top foreign airlines affected by the strike was Qatar Airways which could not operate its early morning Lagos-Doha flight.

The Middle East carrier which flew into the country early in the morning was forced to fly back to Doha with no passengers due to the nonavailability of NAHCO workers whose main job involves loading and checking in of passengers’ luggage.

As at the time of filing this report all the airlines being handled by NAHCO have been left in confusion just as their passengers.

Apart from Qatar Airways, NAHCO handles check-in, boarding and ramp services for several other international airlines such as Air France/KLM, Ethiopian Airlines, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Turkish Air.

An affected passenger and aviation expert, Alex Nuba, said that NAHCO staff in the early hours of Monday walked out of the international airport, saying they were on strike and would not handle any passenger.

 

“Even the Qatar flight I’m traveling with this morning landed and has returned to Doha as there’s no one to handle them,” Nwuba said.

He said passengers are frustrated as they have been kept outside to avoid a crisis and no information, announcement or email was sent to passengers.

The National Union of Air Transport Employees [NUATE] and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) had earlier put the workers on notice of the strike following what they called the uncooperative attitude of the NAHCO management towards resolving the welfare issues raised by the workers through the unions.

In the circular issued by the unions and signed by the general secretary of NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba and his ATSSSAN counterpart, Comrade Francis Akinjole, the workers were directed to withdraw their services nationwide by embarking on an indefibe strike until the issues are resolved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aviation

Unbelievable: Court had declared Wigwe’s chopper model unsafe for flights, after many crashes – Investigation

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Unbelievable: Court had declared Wigwe’s chopper model unsafe for flights, after many crashes – Investigation

 

A new investigation has revealed that Eurocopter EC 130B4, the aircraft model that Friday crashed and claimed the lives of Herbert Wigwe, Access Holdings CEO, his wife, son and three others, recorded five crashes last year alone.

A report of an investigation released on Monday by FIJ stated that a Nevada judge concurred with the position of relations of a crash victim that the aircraft model was unsafe for air travel as it did not have a crash-resistant fuel system, which was why it regularly burst into flames upon crashing.

It also reported that a similar crash occurred on December 1, 2023, involving the same Eurocopter EC 130B4, which struck power cables during takeoff and crashed into a ball of flames near Ex Hacienda el Hospital, Cuautla, Morelos in Mexico.

Three people died in the accident.

It was the last of 11 crashes involving Airbus models in 2023.

A total of 100 crashes involving the aircraft and previous models manufactured by Airbus Helicopters SAS have been recorded since 1975, according to the investigation.

Wigwe died in the helicopter crash near Interstate 15 in Southern California’s Mojave Desert, and questions were raised over the circumstances surrounding the crash.

The same aircraft model crashed in the Grand Canyon in 2018 and claimed the lives of five people.

Scott Booth, who piloted that flight and managed to survive, told investigators that the aircraft encountered a violent gust of wind before spinning uncontrollably and crashing into flames.

Parents of Jonathan Udall, one of the passengers on the flight, who was on a honeymoon with Eleanor, his wife, had filed a lawsuit against Papillon Airways Inc, the company that owned the aircraft, and the manufacturer.

These plaintiffs argued before the Nevada judge that the aircraft was unsafe for air travel.

In January, the court ordered that Papillon should pay them $24.6 million and Airbus pay $75 million for the loss of their son.

Speaking to the Associated Press after the ruling, Gary Robb, the family’s lawyer, said, “They don’t want anyone else to go through what their son went through in an otherwise survivable accident — not a broken bone. He would have walked away.”

His statement was a nod to the fact that Jonathan did not die as a result of the direct impact of the crash but suffered burns in the explosion, which caused his death days later.

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FAAN confirms blackout at Lagos airport, gives reason

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FAAN confirms blackout at Lagos airport, gives reason

 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has confirmed the blackout Friday night at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos but says efforts are being made to restore power supply.

The blackout said to have occurred Friday night as shown in a viral video led to passengers using their mobile phone flashlights to find their way within the airport.

FAAN reacted in a post on its official X handle confirming the incident on Saturday evening.

FAAN explained that the incident happened during the process of switching power sources after losing electricity from the national grid.

The agency said it was working hard to restore the supply, adding that alternative sources were being used.

“We experienced a 2-3 minute outage at Murtala Muhammed International Airport yesterday, February 2nd 2024, while switching over to our backup power supply after losing power from the Grid,” FAAN said.

“The electrical team has identified the challenges with the automatic switch over and is working judiciously to restore this immediately.

“We have put a plan in place leveraging the alternative sources of power to ensure we do not have a recurrence.”

Olubunmi Kuku, managing director of FAAN, expressed regret over the blackout.

“We regret the power outage that occured at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, on February 2, 2024,” she said.

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FG wasted N1bn yearly on FAAN officials shuttling between Abuja, Lagos – Keyamo

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FG wasted N1bn yearly on FAAN officials shuttling between Abuja, Lagos – Keyamo

The Federal Government spent N1 billion annually on Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) and air tickets for Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria officials travelling back and forth from Abuja to Lagos, Minister for Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has said.

He disclosed this on Thursday in a statement clarifying his ‘N500 million FAAN workers’ DTA’ comment on Channels Television.

According to him, in 2023, FAAN workers spent N493,678,620.37 on the DTA and N451,058,950.09 for air tickets.

He said, “When I did my Channels TV interview yesterday, I was not briefed about the amount FAAN spent last year alone on DTA (Duty Tour Allowance) for the principal officers who travelled back and forth from Lagos to Abuja almost daily.

“The amount came up to N493,678,620.37. Aside from the air tickets, which I mentioned amounted to N451,058,950.09.

“So, in total, because of insistence on naming Abuja as the headquarters of FAAN (when there are no offices in Abuja to accommodate all the principal officers), FAAN spent close to N1 billion in one year.”

The minister insisted on going ahead with the Federal Government’s decision to relocate FAAN headquarters to Lagos despite opposition from certain quarters.

Keyamo on January 19, 2023 announced the relocation of FAAN headquarters from Abuja to Lagos.

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