Tunisair suspends flights over worker row

AFP , Thursday 9 Mar 2017

Tunisair suspended all of its flights for several hours on Thursday because of a row between pilots and maintenance workers, but later announced a gradual resumption after talks with unions.

Tunisia's national airline apologised to passengers, saying the halt was aimed at "preserving the safety of the fleet" following an "altercation" at Tunis-Carthage International Airport.

Tunisian media reported that a fight had broken out between aircrew and maintenance workers, following tensions in recent weeks over uniforms.

Mechanics also reportedly held a recent sit-in in front of a union headquarters to denounce their treatment by pilots.

Police reinforcements were sent to the airport and a crisis cell including the transport minister was set up to tackle the situation.

The carrier later announced a "partial and progressive" resumption of flights after talks with trade union representatives, but warned of further disruption until the row is fully resolved.

The carrier has 29 aircraft that usually operate an average of 47 flights a day to destinations mostly in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, according to its website.

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