The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers has issued a two-week ultimatum to airlines, who have sacked or plan to sack their pilots and engineers under the guise of COVID-19, to reverse the decision.

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The President of the Association, Mr Abednego Galadinma, at a news conference on Wednesday (05/08/2020), in Lagos, disclosed that pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers had resolved to withdraw their services to all airlines.

This is just as the association has tackled Bristow helicopters for its event sack of 100 pilots and engineers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Strike: Pilots and Engineers barricade Bristow Helicopters
Strike: Pilots and Engineers barricade Bristow Helicopters

There had been a spate of terminations of contract of pilots and engineers across various airlines, all linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Nigerian airline, Air Peace, also sacked over 70 pilots across its fleet. It also reduced staff salaries by up to 40 per cent.

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Galadinma criticised Bristow helicopters for sacking 100 pilots and engineers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that the company was not saying the truth, since it operated throughout the lockdown period, servicing the oil and gas sector as an essential service provider.

He urged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to prevail on the airlines to stop the unilateral dismissal of pilots and engineers.

“We demand that Bristow and Air Peace should immediately recall all sacked pilots and aircraft engineers until all labour issues are resolved or be grounded by NCAA because of attendant safety concerns created by their action.

“As a result of the known consequences of these illegal actions and our commitment to patriotic fervour, we shall be forced to withdraw our guarantee of industrial peace within the industry if this call is not heeded within two weeks.

”Our union will be left with no other option but to withdraw the services of pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers across all the airlines,” he said.