Terminals at Cairo International Airport were exceptionally crowded on Thursday due to air-traffic congestion. Several planes reportedly took off much later than scheduled as a result of a protest by the air-traffic controllers.
MENA reported that a go-slow protest by air traffic controllers at Cairo airport grounded four fifths of flights from the major regional hub and left as many as 3,000 travellers stranded, airport staff said on Thursday.
According to one airport official, no takeoffs or landings were authorised before 9:35am on Thursday morning. The first plane to receive clearance for takeoff headed to the Omani capital of Muscat.
MENA said the protest had ended at midnight on Wednesday but four hours after it began.
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.
Some angry passengers broke into a tax authority office at the airport overnight to put pressure on officials to force an end to the protest, witnesses said.