A senior aviation official says striking workers at the Cairo international airport's largest terminal are blocking airplanes on the tarmac and disrupting flights.

Abdel-Aziz Fadel says the workers have occupied taxiing areas near runways, forcing passengers to board and disembark at the airport's other terminal. The strikers are demanding better pay.

Wednesday's strike has delayed the departure of seven flights and diverted passengers from three incoming international flights to the other terminal.

Fadel said security forces have refused to intervene to remove the striking workers, arguing that such a move would worsen the situation and recommended resolving the strike through negotiations.

Egypt has been hit by a seemingly endless wave of strikes in the two years since the ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak, contributing to the nation's worsening economy.