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NCAA threatens to penalise Turkish Airlines over ‘abrupt flight cancellations’


The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it will not hesitate to impose 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 dismissal of some of its members.

 

Michael Achimugu, NCAA spokesperson, on Wednesday, 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 airlift them to Istanbul.

 

Achimugu said over 300 passengers are affected by the discord involving the Turkish Airlines and aviation unions, as the carrier 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 currently mediating the conflict between the European 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 spare no 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.”

 

After a thorough probe, he said if “the airline is found culpable, we will invoke the relevant parts of our regulation Part 17 to mete out the right punishment”.

 

 ‘NCAA VISIT STRANDED PASSENGERS’

 

Visiting stranded passengers affected by flight cancellations at the new terminal of the airport, Achimugu said NCAA is on top of the matter.

 

“We have met with officials of the Turkish Airlines today and we are working towards resolving the issues between the airline and the labour union to ensure that you are airlifted out of this airport,” he said.

 

Achimugu assured that the NCAA will explore all avenues to resolve the issues.

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