Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
Following the threat by the nation’s aviation regulator to ban its operations in Nigeria for using inappropriate aircraft, Turkish Airlines last night, complied with the federal government’s directive by flying into Abuja with a bigger aircraft A330 as against the usual smaller B737.
Officials of the airline, alarmed by the prospect of losing their Nigerian market, had rushed into a meeting with the Nigerian authorities to pledge total commitment and compliance with the conditions given to them in order to continue their operations in the country.
Turkish airlines has been notorious for its shabby treatment of Nigerian travellers over time, flying into Nigeria without checked-in luggage. This has always given rise to security issues at the airports with protests by affected passengers.
However, the airline has now shown commitment to improve its treatment of Nigerian travellers by operating into the nation’s capital with a bigger and more comfortable aircraft.
Reacting to the development, Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika described it as commendable, saying that the situation did not need to arise in the first place, with the airline waiting for the strong-arm if the government before doing the right thing.
Sirika in a statement on Saturday in Abuja by the ministry’s Director, Public Affairs, James Odaudu, said that no foreign airline operator would henceforth be allowed to treat Nigerian travellers with disdain.
He warned other airlines to take a cue from the Turkish airlines experience.
Sirika has also promised Nigerians better flying experience as the nation’s aviation industry is set to undergo major developments in the coming years, with the implementation of the stakeholder-developed roadmap.