Africa: BA cancels flights, Aero recalls workers
Many Nigerians were among passengers stranded at London Heathrow on Wednesday as British Airways(BA) cancelled and rescheduled several flights following a check-in system failure.
The rescheduled London-Lagos flight would be operated on Thursday (today), the airline said.
The BA announced later that the system which caused disruption to its flight operations had been restored.
“We have resolved the temporary systems issue, which affected a number of our flights today. We apologise to all our customers caught up in the disruption, and appreciate how frustrating their experience has been.
“Our teams have been working tirelessly to get the vast majority of customers on their way, with most of our flights departing,” the airline said on its website.
It explained that even with flights returning to normal, there might be some knock-on operational disruption as a result of the issue.
Meanwhile, a domestic airline, Aero Contractors, says it has recalled about 30 per cent of its workforce placed on redundancy in 2017.
The airline also revealed plans to resume regional flight services before the end of the year, beginning with Libreville, Gabon; Malabo, Equatorial Guinea and Douala, Cameroun.
Aero had suspended most of its domestic and regional flights in 2016 when it came under the management of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria.
The Chief Executive Officer, Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi, told The PUNCH on Wednesday that all its pilots had been recalled following an increase in the carrier’s daily flights.
He said over 120 fitters and technicians had also been called back into the system, adding that in the last few months, the airline had been constantly recalling its redundant workers into the system.
About one year after it came under the management of AMCON, the airline in March 2017 announced that 60 per cent of its workforce had been placed on redundancy.
The airline had said it was 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 over 60 per cent workers placed on redundancy affected pilots and other cabin crew, support staff, engineers and ground staff, among others.
Sanusi said, “So far, we have recalled 30 per cent. We have called all the pilots; some have come back and others got other jobs and couldn’t come back. When we started the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility and worked on our first C-Check on a Boeing 737 classic, we brought in 70 fitters and technicians immediately.
“We have increased it to 120 because at every time we have two C-Checks we are conducting in the company, we are constantly recalling workers into the system.”
He stated that the airline was also paying redundancy package to those that might not be recalled.