The engineer and pilots association in a letter to the regulatory body which copied the Minister of Aviation, the permanent secretary of the ministry and other bodies said Azman’s actions were not just unlawful but that the airline went and criminalizes the pilots in the face of other airline operators. Read also: Outrage as Azman Air sacks 6 pilots 4 crucial staff; notifies AON not to hire them
The letter signed by NAAPE Deputy General Secretary, Umoh Ofonime addressed to the Director General of the NCAA with Ref NS/GS/NAAPE/vol. 089/2020 dated November 9, 2020 with title: Unlawful sacking of Nigerian pilots by Azman Airline Management read:
” We write to bring to your attention the unlawful and unilateral sacking of Nigerian pilots by Azman Air Management on the 6th of November, 2020. The management of Azman did nonstop at just sacking the pilots but also went ahead and criminalized them by instructing fellow airline operators not to employ them.”
“We find both actions provocative, callous and unacceptable to us. A situation where pilots are forced to work under the atmosphere of fear and intimidation is nothing but a good recipe for breach of safety and security of the airspace.
“We therefore call on you sir, to use your good office to intervene and restore law and order. This will give room for social dialogue and amicable resolutions of whatever the issue.
Recall, Azman Air Friday, November 6, 2020 sacked no fewer than six (6) pilots including three captains and three first officers as well as the airline Cabin Service Manager/Trainer, Account Officer in Abuja as well as two (2) ticketers in the Abuja station.
The airline has also 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.
Captain Jibrin Saidu, Captain Abdulkarim Abubakar, Captain Jika Keghtor, First Officer Shehu Jibrilla Umar, First Officer Ibrahim Isa Musa and First Officer Bello Garba. Others affected are Isa Yamta Cabin Service Manager/Trainer, Account Officer Abuja Station as well as two ticketers at the Abuja station.
Azman Air who reacted to an enquiry sent to its managing director, Faisal Abdulmunaf to ascertain the true picture 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.
The message intercepted by our reporter read,” The following pilot were sacked today for indiscipline and promotion of anarchy within the airline. Please note and avoid them as per the MOU. Captain Jibrin Saidu, Captain Abdulkarim Abubakar, Captain Jika Keghtor, First Officer Shehu Jibrilla Umar, First Officer Ibrahim Isa Musa; First Officer Bello Garba, Isa Yamta Cabin Service Manager/Trainer, Account Officer Abuja Station, ticketer Abuja Station, Ticketer Abuja Station.
Our correspondent learnt that the crux of the sack has everything to do with late payments and shortchanging of employees with a draconian gag to keep them from speaking out.