Cairo air traffic controller go-slow protest ends


A go-slow protest by air traffic controllers at Cairo airport ended after grounding four-fifths of flights from the major regional hub and leaving as many as 3,000 travellers stranded, state media and airport staff said.

The protests began on Wednesday and by mid-morning the next day only 20 of the 100 planes that had been due to take off in the previous 10 hours had left, officials at the airport said.

The controllers restored normal service late on Thursday after they met the head of Egypt’s Holding Company for Airports, state media reported. Local media said the go-slow was called after a pay increase for Cairo’s 700 air traffic controllers was cancelled when other staff protested at the pay rise, Reuters reports.

Some angry passengers broke into a tax authority office at the airport on Wednesday night to put pressure on officials to force an end to the protest, witnesses said.

International flights arriving at other Egyptian airports were not affected, official news agency MENA reported.

Industry officials estimated losses from the protest at between 20 million and 30 million Egyptian pounds ($3.35-5.03 million). ($1 = 5.964 Egyptian Pounds)