Stranded Turkish Passengers Cry out over Shabby Treatment by Airline

Chinedu Eze

About 300 passengers scheduled to travel with Turkish Airlines at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos on Tuesday were stranded following the picketing of Turkish Airlines operation by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).

The passengers lamented the shabby treatment meted to them by the management of Turkish Airlines, which did not attend to them or explain anything on the way forwarded, as they waited endlessly at the airport.

One of the passengers said, “Without so much as offering the abandoned passengers even a bottle of water,  the airline’s airport manager Luckman (not Nigerian) was smuggled out of the airport by staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).  I’m told  there are families who flew in from places like Benin with kids, who have been left stranded.”

Many of the passengers who complained did not have anything good to say about the airline; they regretted the lack of interface with the airline. THISDAY gathered that since there was no more direct flights from Italy to Nigeria, Turkish Airlines had become the choice of many Nigerians in Italy, most of whom come from Edo state. Many of the passengers with their children were left stranded at the airport.

“This is totally unacceptable service and response to an emergency situation that has nothing to do with the passengers but everything to do with Turkish,” a stranded passenger said.

NLC commenced the picketing of Turkish Airlines in Lagos on Tuesday in a bid to make the carrier reinstate staff that were allegedly dismissed, forced to abandon duty or forced to resign, including those victimised for their union membership in 2020.

The NLC in a notice of picketing of Turkish Airlines in Lagos on Monday, which was signed by its acting General Secretary, Chris Ufot, stated that all affiliate unions in aviation were particularly charged to mobilise heavily for the picketing action without fail, adding that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) council was to stand by in case there was a need to escalate the matter to Abuja airport.

So, on Tuesday, the union members turned out en masse with placards to disrupt the airline’s operations in Lagos.

The acting Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Chris Najomo, has indicated he would address the matter later today.

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