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Nigeria’s Aero Airline Flights Canceled Due to Strike Action

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March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Nigerian airline Aero Contractors Co. said all flights have been grounded until further notice due to staff strikes over cost-cutting measures.

Aero management is in talks with unions “to find a quick and amicable resolution,” company spokesman Simon Tumba said by phone today from Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital. The airline, which has been operating in the West African country for more than five decades, employs 1,300 people and operates 15 fixed-wing aircraft and 20 helicopters, according to the company’s website.

The strike comes after similar recent disputes within the Nigerian aviation industry. Air Nigeria suspended operations in September due to staff “disloyalty” and a weak business environment, according to Jimoh Ibrahim, the company’s chairman. Air Nigeria was also being investigated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service for taxes owed. Arik Airlines Ltd., Nigeria’s largest operator, resolved a dispute with unions in the same month that grounded the company’s planes for three days.

Aero Contractors is fully owned by Nigeria’s Ibru family and run by acting Managing Director Obaro Ibru, according to its website.

To contact the reporters on this story: Emele Onu in Lagos at eonu1@bloomberg.net; Chris Kay in Abuja at ckay5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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