By Lawani Mikairu
Turkish Airline has pledged to commence immediately the freighting of all left over passengers’ baggage in Turkey to Nigeria. This is coming after the management of Turkish Airlines met with the Acting Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Abdullahi Sidi in Abuja weekend.
Confirming the meeting and subsequent pledge by the airline, Mr Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA said the airline has agreed to instantly upgrade the Boeing 737 – 800 being used and found inadequate to a larger Airbus A 330.
Adurogboye said : “Consequent upon the suspension of Turkish Airlines operations into Nigeria, the Acting Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Capt. Abdullahi Sidi, met with the management of Turkish Airlines at the NCAA Office in Abuja on Friday”.
“At the end of the meeting, the Airline’s executives pledged to commence immediately freight of all left over passengers’ baggage in Turkey to Nigeria.
According to them, this will be achieved by instantly upgrading the Boeing 737 – 800 being used and found inadequate to a larger Airbus A 330 and Boeing 737 – 900. The programme of clearance will be carried out from 13th to 17th December, 2019”.
It will be recalled that, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with a letter dated 11th December, 2019, with reference no. NCAA/DG/12/16/60 suspended Turkish Airlines operations into Nigeria with effect from the 16th December 2019, if the right size of aircraft is not deployed to the service of Nigerians at all airports in the country.
In the letter to the airline signed by Captain Sidi , NCAA expressed displeasure over the series of incidents which most times lead to disruptions of activities at the airport. He said the incidents had become so bad that most recent Turkish Airlines’ flights arrived Nigeria without more than 85 per cent of passengers’ baggage on board.
Sidi said : “Our airport authority had been facing serious crises controlling the passengers at the airport whenever they arrived without their baggage.
“This issue had made passengers carry out several mob actions at our airport and it was a great threat to our airport facilities.
“In view of all these, and a series of meetings held with the Turkish Airlines’ personnel, which did not yield any solution to this problem, the NCAA is therefore left with no option than to direct Turkish Airlines to suspend its operations into Nigeria until such a time when the airline is ready to operate with the right size of aircraft that can transport all passengers with their baggage at the same time.
“If no remedial action is carried out by your airline, this suspension shall be effective from the 16th of December, 2019”, the acting DG said.