NCAA threatens to punish Turkish Airlines over ‘sudden flight cancellations’

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has vowed that it will shy away from imposing severe penalties on Turkish Airlines for its alleged mistreatment of Nigerian passengers.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on May 21, picketed Turkish Airlines in Lagos over the sack of some of its members.

NCAA spokesperson, Michael Achimugu, said following the workers’ union’s action, passengers of Turkish Airlines have remained stranded at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, as the airline has failed to ferry them to Istanbul.

Achimugu stated that more than 300 passengers are affected by the rift involving the Turkish Airlines and aviation unions, as the airline has cancelled flights in and out of Nigeria from Tuesday until Thursday.

He said though the carrier claimed to have communicated with passengers through electronic mail on the ongoing hitch concerning its operations, some passengers still showed up at the Lagos airport.

The spokesperson said the NCAA is  mediating the conflict between the Turkish carrier and aviation unions which picketed the airline’s operations at the Lagos Airport on Tuesday.

Achimugu said the federal government and its agencies will not spare efforts to call to order any airline that infringes on the rights of Nigerian passengers.

“The NCAA is currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the inability of Turkish Airlines to operate flights out of Lagos Airport, due to the picketing of its operations by aviation unions; we will ensure that the rights of Nigerian passengers are not violated,” Achimugu said.

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed the NCAA, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) , and relevant agencies that the rights of Nigerian passengers are protected.

“Currently, the NCAA is engaging officials of Turkish Airlines, but we have observed some degree of insolence of the Country Manager, who engaged our Director General, Captain Chris Najomo in a shouting match, he was even banging the table. This behaviour to the NCAA is unacceptable.”



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