Hundreds of Owerri-bound passengers were stranded at airports in Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country yesterday when members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) prevented flights from taking off to Owerri, the Imo State capital.
The action, according to Air Peace, one of the airlines affected, caused it to lose N400 million.
The NLC declared a “No Flight to Owerri” action in protest against the disruption of the May Day celebration by the state governor, Hope Uzodinma.
The NLC had in a letter by its Secretary-General, Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, declared a comprehensive industrial action in the state and directed other affiliates, especially unions in aviation to ensure no flight leaves Lagos Airport to Owerri.
Following the action, several flights leaving the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to Owerri were not allowed to leave the airport.
The action affected Air Peace, Ibom Air, Dana and other airlines flying to the state.
The Air Peace in a statement, said it has no affiliation whatsoever with the Imo State government and wondered why its operation would be disrupted.
“They had written to us yesterday, saying that no flight should be operated into Owerri today because, as alleged, Governor Uzodinma disrupted their May Day activities a few days ago.
“While they were doing this, another Nigerian airline was allowed to operate into and out of Owerri. They took over our counters in Owerri, Abuja and Lagos, disrupting over 110 flights of Air Peace.
“This particular illegal action of NLC and TUC will lead to over N400 million loss to the airline. It will equally lead to massive disruptions and cancellations of our flights across the country today, and that will snowball into the coming days too,” Air Peace stated.