Pay your pilots, others or risk grounding, NCAA tells airlines

 

Piqued by the refusal of airlines to pay their workers, particularly flight crew, the Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu has threatened to ground airlines that are in the habit of not paying their pilots and staff.

The threat was handed down to the airlines in a meeting held with airline chiefs and their representatives in Abuja last week Thursday by the aviation regulatory body.

An airline chief who was at the meeting said Nuhu expressed concern over the manner some airlines have handled labour related issues and how they have consistently refused to pay workers who have continued to work for the airlines before and after resumption of flights.

The source further stated that the meeting came about as result of Air Peace pilots who down tooled last week to press home their demands until further notice pending when the management would come to a mutual agreement with them.

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NCAA DG, Capt. Musa Nuhu

 

Prominent airline chiefs that attended the meeting are Air Peace chairman, Mr. Allen Onyema, Chief Executive Officer of Ibom Air, Mr. George Uriesi, Accountable Manager for Dana, Mr. Obi Mbanuzo, among others.

According to the source, “The Director-General of NCAA, Musa Nuhu called for emergency meeting of airline owners and their representatives in Abuja Thursday last week. Azman and Air Peace are having issues with their pilots”.

“The meeting was about pilots issue and lack of payment of salary to airline staff. The DG warned airlines that refuse to pay salary to pilots and crew will face the consequences of suspension of  operations.”

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An Air Peace pilot who spoke to Woleshadarenews on condition of anonymity said the management of the airline through its Human Resources approved an average of 80 per cent pay cut across its pilot rankings..

The source further stated that as a result of the decision, the pilot community decided to down tools until further notice pending when the management can come to a mutual agreement.

A senior pilot who also spoke to our correspondent lamented the poor treatment pilots are subjected to, stressing that the management and the pilots were meeting as at last week to resolve the problem.

His words, “It is true that the pilots went on strike to protest poor treatment”.

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He stated that the strike which started last week Tuesday may be called off if the management shift its position and come to a mutual agreement.

Azman Air also came under scrutiny because of its alleged attitude to workers and their welfare.

The airline recently acquired four engine, fuel guzzling A340 in readiness for Hajj which never materialized because of the impact of COVID-19 to this year’s Hajj, rendering its investments a waste.

Max Air followed suit by acquiring B747 for Hajj which never took place because of COVID-19 pandemic.

Wole Shadare