DAKAR (Reuters) – Air traffic controllers strike in West and Central Africa 48 hours, their union said Saturday, has been suspended.
The strike that began on Friday disrupted flights in the region, with hundreds of passengers stranded at the airport on Saturday.
The Air Traffic Controllers Union (USYCAA), known as the Wildcat Strike, said in a statement that it had decided to suspend the notice of strike days for negotiation.
“From today Saturday September all airspaces and airports managed by ASECNA will provide air traffic services , 1200 GMT 1200,” the statement said.
More than 700 air traffic controllers took part in strike to demand better working and pay conditions, union said.
Controllers work under the Air Traffic Directorate for Safety of Navigation in Africa and Madagascar ar (ASECNA) One 18 Member State Agency responsible for managing air traffic covering 666 area million square kilometers of airspace.
Across the region, airport operations were brought to a near standstill as authorities tried to keep control towers operating for some flights.
Hundreds of passengers were stranded at Douala International Airport in Cameroon on Saturday morning, state broadcaster CRTV reported. National carrier Camair-Co said on Friday it had cancelled all flights due to the strike.
Stranded passenger Nsoh Brinston, who was due to fly to Kigali, Rwanda, said his flight had been cancelled.
“I will have to spend more than expected due to flight cancellations. I will have to take another COVID test for 30,000 CFA franc ($18), ” He says.
He also has to find a place to spend the night.
In Senegal, the Airport Departure Commission indicated that flights operated by Brussels Airlines, Kenya Airways and Kenya Airways were cancelled. Emirates passengers gathered to check if their flights were still going as planned.
A group of students from Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, who were due to fly home from Dakar, said they were stuck at the airport because they could not afford the fare to the city, in 50 Kilometers from the airport.
“We were supposed to board at GMT 0900 but still here,” said one of the students, requesting to remain anonymous. “We were told the situation could be resolved by tomorrow.”
“I was supposed to leave at GMT 1400. The flight was announced as scheduled, but we were just told It has been cancelled,” said Maxine Compaore, who was supposed to fly to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
In Côte d’Ivoire, eight flights scheduled to leave the commercial centre of Abidjan on Saturday were cancelled.
($1=666.7500 CFA franc)