Passengers of one of Nigeria’s leading commercial airline operators, Dana Airlines are stranded as a result of a nationwide strike embarked on by its pilots protesting non-payment of salaries.
Scheduled flights have been disrupted with passengers booked to travel with the airline seen stranded at airports across the country.
At the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, announcements were made intermittently to communicate the development to customers waiting to board flights.
According to a source, the airline had continued selling tickets to passengers earlier this with hopes that the dispute would be resolved but however, started making refunds with some passengers booking flights with other airlines.
The spokesperson for Dana Air, Kingsley Ezenwa, said the issue has nothing to do with non-payment of salaries as some media source have reported. But promised the management was working hard to resolve the crisis within a short time to enable it restore normal flight operations.
Dana Air is a commercial airline company based in Lagos State offering domestic services. Following a fatal air crash in 2012, that killed all 153 people on board, its licence was suspended, but it was cleared by Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority to resume flights in 2014,
Earlier this month, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) promised to offset all debts owed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) by member airlines. NCAA Director General, Captain Muhtar Usman, had before then met with the management regarding debts owed it by airline operators.
AON Chairman, who spoke on behalf of operators, said it was incontrovertible that operators were heavily indebted but promised that all un-remitted funds would be fully paid. Though, no deadline was set by the domestic carriers, who said they were battling to remain operational amid many disincentives, which include scarcity of aviation fuel, poor facilities at some airports and high charges.