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Egypt closes Alexandria airport after strike

Passport control and security workers hold sit-in on runway at Al Burj

Gulf News

Cairo: Egypt closed Alexandria’s airport, the second biggest in the country, on Sunday after police officers staged a protest on the runway to demand better pay, state media said.

The officers, who do passport control and security work, held a sit-in on the runway at Al Burj airport on the Mediterranean coast to demand that authorities share with them airport fees slapped on passengers, state news agency Mena said.

“The civil aviation authority regrets this irresponsible behaviour,” the agency said, adding that the airport would remain closed until 0800 GMT on Monday.

Planes from Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabia’s Nas Air and Sharjah-based Air Arabia were unable to take off. Incoming traffic was diverted to Cairo airport where officers had staged a similar protest on Thursday, which did not affect traffic, Mena said.

Egypt, which has endured more than two years of political instability since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, is struggling with a severe budget and currency crisis driving up inflation and causing fuel shortages.