Thursday 18 January 2018

Strike shuts Dakar airport a week after grand opening

Strike shuts Dakar airport a week after grand opening
(AFP (eng) 12/16/17)

Flights to and from Dakar's brand-new airport were cancelled on Friday after air traffic controllers went on strike just eight days after it opened.

Controllers announced they would strike for 24 hours from 0001 GMT Friday, Blaise Diagne International Airport's operators, LAS, said in a statement.

The company "deplores the consequences of this movement, which strongly impacts the image of Senegal, as well as the service provided to passengers and airlines", it said.

The air traffic controllers' association, Asecna, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Macky Sall had inaugurated the airport on December 7 in the presence of fellow heads of state from Gabon, Guinea-Bissau and The Gambia. He was due to return to the country on Friday evening after a trip abroad.

The Senegalese press say air traffic controllers are aggrieved over working conditions, especially the problem of getting to the airport which is much farther from the capital than the previous one.

The airport is located in Diass, 47 kilometres (29 miles) southeast of Dakar. Its predecessor, Leopold Sedar Senghor international airport, now a military airport, is in Dakar's suburbs.

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