By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The management of Aero Contractors has disengaged around 900 of its about 1,500 workers on its payroll as at September 2016.
A statement by the company’s spokesman, Mr Simon Tumba, disclosed that the airline had been grappling with huge and unrealistic personnel cost as well as other operational challenges, worsened by lack of enough aircraft to keep all the workers meaningfully engaged.
The total number of workers sacked by Aero Contractors represents about 60 percent of its workforce.
It was gathered that letters of redundancy were issued to the affected employees during the week.
The airline, which was taken over by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) in 2013, said the decision to disengage the employees was to save the airline from dying.
Mr Tumba said in the statement issued on Thursday in Lagos that the affected workers would be paid their pension and gratuity.
“The issuance of notification of redundancy is a business decision that will ensure Aero’s survival.
“The current situation where over a thousand people are basically not engaged due to lack of serviceable aircraft is not sustainable for the airline.
“The huge monthly salary associated with a bloated workforce will eventually kill the airline, which is not the intention of the current government,” the statement explained.
“This decision will immediately reduce the whopping operational cost, which has been stifling Aero, enable the management bring in more aircraft through savings from overheads and pay for C-checks.
“It will also enable Aero have a more manageable and committed workforce in line with international best practices of 50 to 60 personnel to one aircraft unlike what obtains in Aero at the moment,” Mr Tumba said further.
However, the Chief Executive Officer of Aero, Capt. Ado Sanusi, was quoted in the statement as assuring the workers that they stand a chance of being recalled as soon as the airline increases the number of aircraft in its fleet in the near future.
But the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) have expressed their views on the development.
“We are totally against it because in the first place, our members are still being owed salaries and we have not even negotiated the redundancy package.
“If they go ahead with this move then the unions are prepared to face them headlong,” General Secretary of ATSSSAN, Mr Frances Akinjole, told journalists.
Normalcy Restored at Lagos Airport as Aviation Workers Suspend Strike
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Normalcy was restored at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos on Monday afternoon after workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc disrupted flight operations this morning.
The aviation workers had embarked on an indefinite strike action to ask for a better welfare package from the management of the company.
Their action left many air passengers stranded on Monday morning, with operators suspending their flights in the process.
But the industrial action was later called off by the leaders of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees, which promised to enter into talks with NAHCO, with a view to resolving the matter.
The aggrieved employees of NAHCO asked the management to increase their salaries after hike air fares by 100 per cent. They claimed that the company was being insensitive to their welfare.
NAHCO Workers’ Strike Paralyses Flight Operations At Lagos Airport
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Activities at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, were paralysed on Monday after some employees of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc embarked on an industrial action.
The NAHCO workers protested the failure of the management of the company to heed their demands, including an increase in salaries and better welfare packages.
Air passengers who were at the Lagos airport were left frustrated today due to the demonstration by the aviation workers, with a few international flights disrupted.
It was gathered that most airline operators were caught unawares as they did not have prior notice that the NAHCO staff members were planning to down tools on the first working day of the week.
This led to the abrupt suspension of flight operations by most operators this morning while efforts were being made to resolve this issue in order to reduce the losses that could arise from the action of the workers.
Emirates Resumes Flights to Shanghai, Beijing After Border Reopening
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Ahead of the New Lunar Year in China and in response to strong travel demand in the country, Emirates is ramping up its operations and has resumed flights to Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou.
Recall that this month, the Chinese authorities removed its stiff COVID-19-related entry restrictions and reopened its borders to international travellers.
Emirates said following this new development, it would resume passenger services to Shanghai starting with two weekly flights operated by an Airbus A380 aircraft from 20 January 2023, with EK302 departing from Dubai to Shanghai non-stop and EK303 making a short stop in Bangkok before returning to Dubai.
This service will ramp up in frequency to four weekly flights operated by a three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft from 02 February 2023. During this period, Emirates’ flight EK302 will depart Dubai at 03:45hrs and arrive in Shanghai at 15:40hrs. The return flight EK303 will depart Shanghai at 17:40hrs and arrive in Bangkok at 21:45hrs before taking off from the Thai capital at 23:20hrs and arriving in Dubai at 03:20hrs the next day.
The airline operator said it would further boost its Dubai-Shanghai route from 1 March 2023 with a daily non-stop service. Its flight EK304 will depart Dubai at 09:15hrs and arrive in Shanghai at 21:05hrs. The return flight EK303 will leave Shanghai at 23:00hrs and arrive in Dubai at 05:20hrs the next day.
Starting from 1 February 2023, Emirates will increase services between Dubai and Guangzhou with EK362/EK363 operating as daily non-stop flights with the flagship Emirates A380.
Its flight EK362 will leave Dubai at 10:45hrs and arrive in Guangzhou at 21:45hrs. The return flight EK363 will depart Guangzhou at 00:15hrs and arrive in Dubai at 05:15hrs. Emirates currently operates a non-stop flight from Dubai to Guangzhou as EK362, and a return flight from Guangzhou to Dubai via Bangkok as EK363, four times a week.
Operated by a three-class Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, Emirates’ flight EK308/ EK307 will return to China’s capital city Beijing with a daily non-stop service from Dubai, starting from 15 March 2023. Emirates’ flight EK308 will leave Dubai at 10:50hrs and arrive in Beijing at 22:20hrs. The return flight EK307 will depart Beijing at 00:40hrs and arrive in Dubai at 05:00hrs.*
This will bring the airline’s operations in the market up to 21 weekly flights, providing increased choice and flexibility for both business and leisure travellers, and contributing to China’s tourism recovery.
Tickets can be booked on emirates.com, the Emirates App, or via travel agents. Travellers are also encouraged to check the latest entry requirements.
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