Ethiopia's air traffic controllers go on strike, grounding flights

Tuesday April 17 2018

An Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner

An Ethiopian Airlines Dreamliner. Flights from Addis Ababa delayed after air traffic controllers go on strike. FILE PHOTO | NATION 

By BBC
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Dozens of flights from Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa have been delayed after air traffic controllers went on strike. It’s not clear yet why the workers have downed their tools.

"I am aboard KQ flight 401 to Nairobi, which has now been delayed by more than an hour and the pilot had just announced its not clear when we will take off," BBC journalist in Addis reports.

Industrial strikes are very rare in Ethiopia - which is one of the continent’s fast growing economy.

But poverty levels in the country remain high and salaries and wages of public servants comparatively low compared to other countries.

Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday met the business community in the country and pledged to institute reforms that would make the country’s economy more robust.

He said he would institute austerity measures that would cut down on expenses on foreign travels which he said cost the country millions of dollars.

He also spoke about the country’s biting foreign currency shortage and the fight against corruption.

But he assured investors that Africa’s second most populous country was open to business.

Mr Abiy took over the reins of power at the start of this month after the abrupt resignation of his predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn who quit after nearly three years of anti government protests.