Nigerian airline collapses as industry struggles

Sep 07, 2012, 10:32 AM EDT

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's aviation industry is in turmoil with the collapse of one of its major air carriers and the grounding of other airlines.

More than 60 workers from Air Nigeria protested Friday at Lagos' Murtala Muhammed International Airport's domestic wings, demanding four-months-worth of unpaid salaries from the company. The airline's owner, business tycoon Jimoh Ibrahim, fired nearly all of the company's 800 employees for "disloyalty" earlier this month.

Air Nigeria's collapse comes as only three domestic airlines are now flying in Nigeria, straining the nation's already troubled aviation sector. The difficulties began June 3, when a Dana Air MD-83 crashed about five miles north of Lagos' airport, killing more than 160. Many Nigerians remain leery of flying.