Airline sacks all Nigerian cabin crew, shuts call centre
The aviation sector was in confusion yesterday over the pulling out of British flag carrier, Virgin Atlantic Airways, from Nigerian routes.
Though the airline is yet to officially announce the pull out, it has issued letters of disengagement to its Nigerian cabin crew.
A source close to the regulatory authority hinted that the British carrier has also shut down its call centre in the Ikeja axis of the Lagos metropolis.
The exit from the Nigerian market, a source hinted, may be connected with disappointment by the airline management over promises by government on its operations in the country.
The source said: “Virgin Atlantic Airways has laid off all its Nigerian cabin crew.
“They were only given three- week notice and no severance package regardless of their length of service will be paid.
“The air-hostesses they sacked were about 20 and last year, they closed down their Nigerian call centre and let go of all the Nigerian staff.”
This is not the first time the airline is disappointed with doing business in Nigeria.
After the liquidation of Nigeria Airways in 2003, government invited the chairman of Virgin Atlantic Airways, Sir Richard Branson to float a domestic carrier in the country.
Within few months, Virgin Nigeria Airways was set up with the British carrier as its technical partner.
After six years Virgin Atlantic Airways pulled out as technical partner to the Nigerian arm of the business.
Following the sour relationship, Branson said in 2012 he was very wary about doing business in Nigeria.
Aviation unions have vowed to ensure that the entitlements of Nigerian cabin crew are paid in line with relevant provisions.
Culled from The Nation Newspaper