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International Airlines Depart at Midnight as Airports Remain Closed

By on January 13, 2012

The attendant effects that the ongoing labour strike has on airline operators in the country are myriad. National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) have ensured that all domestic and international flights to and fro airports in the country are grounded. However reports reaching BusinessNews suggest some aircrafts plying international routes now depart after midnight after labour workers must have retired from their picketing activities for the day.

Flights that took off during the midnight hours this week were Virgin Atlantic to London, Emirates to Abu Dhabi, and Arik Air to London.

Labour leaders are preventing international flights from departing during the day time, but have reached a consensus to allow them depart at night. Despite this, airlines are still losing huge sums of revenue on a daily basis due to delays and ability to synchronize flight schedules with linking flights etc.

Domestic airlines have been completely grounded and are to be expected to increase their fares once the strike is over. This is not only due to the fact that the airlines have lost billions due to the strike, in addition some marketers of aviation fuel have increased prices of the commodity by 8%. The increase was owing to the removal of fuel subsidy and was unwarranted since petroleum motor spirit price has no bearing on aviation fuel.

For instance, Aero has increased the fare on its Warri-to-Lagos route by about 300% to N 18,600. This refers to the price of e-tickets bought online. A few months ago, similar tickets were approximately N 7,000 if booked in advance.