According to news reports, Virgin Atlantic Airways has laid off all their Nigerian cabin crew. They were only given three weeks notice and no severance package regardless of their length of service will be paid.
The air-hostesses they sacked were about 20 and last year, they closed down their Nigerian call centre and let go of all the Nigerian staff. Owner. You would recall that the Chairman of the company Richard Branson had said sometime in 2012, he was weary about doing business in Nigeria.
Here is an extract from a statement Richard Branson issued in 2012 after the ill-fated footsteps he took by setting up a new airline in conjunction with the Nigerian government;
“We fought daily battle against government agents who wanted to daily make fortune from us, politicians who saw the government 49% as a meal to seek for all kinds of favour…watchdogs (regulatory body) that didn’t know what to do and persistently asking for bribes at any point…Nigeria people are generally nice but the politicians are very insane…that may be irony because the people make up the politicians…
“But those politicians are selfish…we did make N3billion for the federal government of Nigeria during the joint venture…realising that the government didn’t bring nothing to the table/partnership except dubious debts by the previous carrier, Nigeria Airways…The joint venture should have been the biggest African carrier by now if the partnership was allowed to grow, but the politicians KILLED it…Nigeria is a country we SHALL NEVER consider to doing business again..”
Aviation unions have vowed to ensure that the entitlements of Nigerian cabin crew are paid in line with relevant provisions.