By Miriam Humbe
On 13th December, 2019, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) suspended the operations of Turkish Airlines in Nigerian airports on account of poor treatment of passengers and a very inefficient approach to timely delivery of baggage to travelers.
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has said it welcomes the strong and decisive action taken by NCAA against Turkish Airlines considering these incessant and unabating complaints about the airline’s treatment of passengers, and a regrettable lack of sufficient attention by the airline to mitigate these mistreatments and reverse the trend.
A statement signed by FCCPC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Babatunde Irukera said fundamental plank and mutual commitment under Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) is respect for local laws and maintaining appropriate standards, not just as a matter of aircraft airworthiness and safe operations, but also how passengers are treated.
He said: “Sadly, Turkish Airlines has remained insensitive and unyielding to repeated regulatory intervention and oversight to modify its behavior.
“The vexatious multiple issues of delays, cancellations and baggage handling continue to be the highlights of passenger complaints, whether international or domestic travel. These undermine confidence, and the full potential of the aviation sector.
“This response by NCAA is certain to address this particular airline’s conduct, but even more importantly, send a clear message to other airlines, including domestic, that regulators are not unwilling to utilise the regulatory tools at their disposal to promote and ensure fair treatment of consumers.
“The FCCPC will continue our record of strong collaboration with the NCAA, and continue to provide useful feedback to support an enduring approach to regulatory action, where necessary, to improve passenger experience.
“FCCPC notes the timely response of Turkish Airlines and constructive discussions between them and NCAA.
“FCCPC looks forward to the improved services promised by Turkish Airlines, including changing the current equipment from a B737-800 to an A330 and alternately, a B737-900. We expect that, in addition to more appropriate and befitting equipment, Turkish Airlines will implement a more sensitive and responsive approach to passengers.”