ASECNA COUNTRIES’ STRIKE: ATCs suspend strike for 10 days!

The 48-hour strike by air traffic controllers in West and Central Africa has been called off, the union said on Saturday.

The strike, which began on Friday, disrupted flights across the region and left hundreds of passengers stranded at airports on Saturday.

The Union of Air Traffic Controllers (USYCAA), which called the wildcat strike, said in a statement that it had decided to suspend the strike notice for 10 days immediately to allow for negotiations.
“Air traffic services will be provided in all airspaces and airports administered by ASECNA beginning today, Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 12:00 GMT,” the statement said.

The union said more than 700 air traffic controllers had joined the strike to demand better working conditions and pay.

The controllers work under the Agency for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA), an 18-member state agency that manages air traffic in an area covering 16 million square kilometers of airspace.
Across the region, airport operations nearly came to a halt as authorities tried to keep control towers operational for some flights.

Hundreds of passengers were stranded at Cameroon’s Douala international airport on Saturday morning, national television CRTV reported.

National carrier Camair-Co said on Friday it had canceled all its flights due to the strike.

Nsoh Brinston, a stranded passenger who was supposed to fly to Kigali, Rwanda, said his flight was cancelled.
“I will have to spend more than I intended due to the flight that was canceled. I will have to take another COVID test which costs 30,000 CFA francs ($45),” he said.

He would also have to find a place to spend the night.

In Senegal, the airport boarding panel recorded cancellations of flights operated by Brussels Airlines, Kenyan Airways and Emirates, as passengers gathered to verify that the flight was still on time.
A group of students from Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, who were supposed to return home from Dakar, said they were stuck at the airport because they couldn’t pay the fare to the city, about 50 km from the airport.

“We were supposed to board at 09:00 GMT, but we’re still here,” said one of the students, asking to remain anonymous. “We have been informed that the situation can be resolved by tomorrow.”
“I was supposed to leave at 14:00 GMT.

The flight was announced as scheduled, but we have just been informed that it has been cancelled,” said Maxine Compaore, who was due to fly to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

In Côte d’Ivoire, eight flights scheduled to depart from the commercial center of Abidjan on Saturday were cancelled.

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