Foreign airlines suspend operations to Nigeria over strike

Due to the on-going nationwide strike, some foreign airlines may have suspended operations in the country pending when the crisis is resolved. Already, KLM Airlines said it had stopped operations to Nigeria because it could no longer guarantee the safety of its crew and equipment. Spokesman for Air France-KLM, Mrs. Funmi Ojesina, said that the carrier had suspended operations for now until safety could be guaranteed. Also, Lufthansa, which had earlier suspended its operations on Tuesday, said it was expecting flight operations to restart between Thursday and Friday. A source said the airlines were equally concerned with the quality of air traffic control that is being handled by insufficient workers and could not risk the consequences of an accident. The airlines may have taken the decision on the heels of the attack of an Ethiopian Airways crew on Tuesday. The crew members were turned back to their hotels, leading to cancellation of the flight. British Airways was unable to operate its 10 a.m. flight to London from Abuja until midnight, while its Lagos operations went on smoothly because the airline operated at 12 midnight, beating the 7a.m. to 7p.m. that the airports in Lagos and Abuja are closed to traffic. The spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic Airways, Mrs. Wuraola Oduntan, said protesters got into the terminal building of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and stopped all the airlines’ staff from checking-in their passengers. Just like on Tuesday, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos was deserted. Virgin Atlantic Airways, Emirates, Arik Air, Ethiopian, Air France and KLM which had thought they would be allowed to operate, were disappointed when the industry unions prevented them from checking in passengers for flights outside the country.


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