Why aviation industry remains in recession – Union

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The National Union of Air Transport Employees on Sunday said the recent hike in airfares coupled with the impact of the Russia/Ukraine war and the COVID-19 outbreak had delayed the exit of Nigeria’s aviation sector from recession.

NUATE President, Ben Nnabue, who disclosed this in his 2022 May Day speech to workers in the sector, stated that the past year brought both strife and strides to employees in the aviation industry.

He said, “You have witnessed that before we could feel the relief from the waning notorious Coronavirus, our industry was greeted with the double punch of the Putin war on Ukraine and skyrocketing aviation fuel price.

“Against the background of negative travellers’ reaction to recent airfare increases, these multiple adversities have been exceedingly crippling, particularly for airlines. This has delayed the exit of our industry from recession.

“As expected, your union has been seriously challenged by the current pall surrounding the aviation industry. Notwithstanding, however, your union has been proving equal to the task, even making notable strides to the bargain.”

Nnabue also noted that the twin big issues of minimum wage consequential adjustment and conditions of service for the aviation agencies were currently raging.

“We stand firmly by the decision of workers not to accept continuing shifting of the goal post by government agencies on these issues.

“Therefore, this week has been set out for major decisions and subsequent decisive actions that will bring these issues to a foreclosure.

In a similar vein, Nnabue stated that NUATE was unsatisfied with ongoing discussions around the big question of airport concession.

He said, “We are unclear as to the government’s actual response to the demands of aviation unions on labour issues and many lapses in the concession programme.

“In the coming weeks, important decisions will be made to chart a clear path towards ameliorating already stated demands of workers.”