Azman Air on Saturday sacked six pilots including three captains and three first officers as well as the airline Cabin Service Manager/Trainer, Account Officer in Abuja and two ticketing officer in the Abuja station.
Reports has it that the airline allegedly notified the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) of this sack reminding them of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed to ‘avoid’ the pilots, giving credence to a cabal within the AON structure to continuously suppress pilot employment.
The affected staff are, Captain Jibrin Saidu, Captain Abdulkarim Abubakar, Captain Jika Keghtor, First Officer Shehu Jibrilla Umar, First Officer Ibrahim Isa Musa and First Officer Bello Garba, Isa Yamta Cabin Service Manager/Trainer.
Reacting to the situation, Azman Air managing director, Faisal Abdulmunaf to ascertain said:
“The only thing I know about is some of the staff were terminated due to reductions of our flights as a result of low demand because of COVID-19 impact.”
The reaction is seemingly contract to the route expansion the airline is embarking on and according to what our correspondent has been able to gather from the message sent, the staff were allegedly sacked for indiscipline and promotion of anarchy because they asked payment of their emoluments but their termination letters read that their employment was ended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile what seem to be worrisome is the cabal-like operations of airlines in the country who signed an MOU to somehow ensure that if a pilot or staff leaves one position for another there must be letter of no objection and no signatory airline can pay higher than a pre-determined salary scale determined by them.
Meaning that with the notice issued to members, Azman may be stifling employment for the staff it fired.
Already, players have started calling on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to intervene following the fact that airlines that have reduced salaries drastically or have started paying late are signs of economic stress and the regulators need to critically examine these airlines economically and give them a clean bill of health were necessary or enforce laws to compel them to be responsible.