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In line with the stand of the Federal Government while announcing the suspension of Turkish Airlines operations in Nigeria last Thursday, should the airline fails “to operate with the right size of aircraft that can transport all passengers with their baggage at the same time,” the sanction will official come into force from today, Monday, December 16, 2019.
This was the key provision contained in the directive handed down to the Turkish Airline by the industry regulator, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), considering failed efforts at resolving the lingering cases of baggage exclusion and missing ones which had over the period been a major issue with the international airline.
According to the NCAA, unless, the airline, effective today, begins to operate in Nigeria with the right size of aircraft that can contain all checked in passengers with their baggage, it remains suspended from operating, landing or taking off from any of Nigerian airports.
The Federal Government through NCAA said the decision become pertinent as a result of recent cases in which the airline failed to bring in passengers into Nigeria together with their checked-in baggage.
In a letter to the airline by the acting Director-General, NCAA, Capt. Abdullahi Sidi, which was made available by the Federal Ministry of Aviation in Abuja on Thursday, the authority expressed displeasure at the incidents, which it said had been going on for over two weeks.
Sidi said the incidents had become so bad that most recent Turkish Airlines flights arrived in Nigeria without more than 85 per cent of passengers’ baggage on board.
The letter said in parts: “Our airport authority has been facing a serious crisis controlling the passengers at the airport whenever they arrive without their baggage. This issue has made passengers to carry out several mob actions at our airports and it is 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 in 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,” NCAA warned.