Dozens of flights were cancelled across West and Central Africa on Saturday as a strike by regional air traffic controllers entered a second day, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at airports.
The 48-hour strike was called by a union representing workers of the Agency for Aerial Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA), which regulates air-traffic control in 18 countries.
The air traffic controllers, who have threatened to prolong the strike if their demands are not met, are seeking better working and pay conditions. ASECNA said on Friday that the strike was called by an unrecognized union and was going ahead despite court injunctions and bans by some governments.
The agency urged passengers to check airport flight information for updates. “In spite of the prohibition of the strike by all the courts … the Union of Air Traffic Controllers’ Unions (USYCAA) has launched a wildcat strike," ASECNA said on Friday.
Hundreds of passengers were stranded at the Douala International airport in Cameroon on Saturday morning, the country’s national television CRTV reported. National carrier Camair-Co said on Friday it had cancelled all its flights due to the strike.
In Senegal, the airport departure board showed cancellations for flights operated by Brussels Airlines, Kenyan Airways and Emirates. In Ivory Coast, eight flights scheduled to leave the commercial hub of Abidjan on Saturday were cancelled.