Domestic airline operators have begun counting their losses after a strike action by air traffic controllers at the Kotoka International Airport, grounded domestic flights on Saturday morning.
According to the airline operators, the action has made them lose monies close to 200,000 cedis.
They further explained that the development was largely due to refund of air transport fares.
Commenting on the development to Citi Business News, the CEO of Starbow Airlines, James Eric Antwi lamented the discomfort local airline companies had to bear, with any industrial action by the civil aviation staff.
He further noted that his company made losses of almost 150,000 cedis due to the strike action.
“We have cancelled three flights this morning; these included flights to Takoradi and Kumasi. Well, if you talk in terms of money, it will cost between GH¢120, 000 to GH¢150,000…So in terms of money and inconveniences, it’s been very bad,” James Eric Antwi stressed.
For his part, the Ground Operations Manager at Africa World Airlines (AWA), Rainer Yeboah, indicated that the action had impacted heavily on AWA’s operations.
“We had to refund monies to some passengers who demanded that… some customers were demanding answers why we could not fly them to their respective destinations which of course was also beyond our control,
He added, “I cannot give you the actual figures but we are talking of costs in the region of 50,000 cedis.”
GCAA staff demand handing over of encroached lands
The strike follows series of actions by the staff of the GCAA to protest against what they say is the failure of the aviation authorities to reclaim encroached lands belonging to the authority.
Earlier last week, the staff union embarked on a sit down strike which affected some operations at the airport.
The strike was however fueled by their dissatisfaction with the size of acres of land offered to them by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources after meeting them on Friday.
Meanwhile some passengers who were stranded also shared their frustration over the impact of the strike action on their schedule.
“I was shocked because I made all the flight reservations and if the situation had persisted, I would have been compelled to go by road which would have been a problem since I cannot find my way around the capital too,” one of the stranded passengers remarked.
Another also intimated, “My plan was to travel to Kumasi by air but I found out that there was this strike by the local authorities. I therefore had to wait.”
“I’ve already complained to them because I was supposed to have left at 12. As it stands now, I am quite uncertain of the outcome of the said meeting,” a third passenger also observed.
Strike called off
The strike action has since been called off .
This followed after an intervention by the Chief of Staff, Julius Debrah; Transport Minister, Fiifi Kwetey and Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Nii Osah Mills.
The team urged a suspension of the strike while a meeting between the workers, government officials and management of the GCAA has been scheduled at the Flagstaff House on Monday.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/Zoe Abu Baidoo/Loretta Timah/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana