Take A Cue From Turkish Airlines Experience, Sirika Warns Foreign Operators


The Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, has warned foreign airline operators to learn from the experiences of Turkish Airlines and stop treating Nigerian travellers with disdain.

Mr Sirika gave the warning on Saturday in a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs in the ministry, Mr James Odaudu.

The Minister, while reacting to the threat meted out to Turkish Airlines by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), declared that no foreign airlines will be tolerated if they fail to give Nigerian travellers better flying experience.

“No foreign airline operator would henceforth be allowed to treat Nigerian travellers with disdain, according to the Minister, warning the others to take a cue from the Turkish airline’s experience.

“Sirika has also promised Nigerians better flying experiences as the nation’s aviation industry is set to undergo major developments in the coming years, with the implementation of the stakeholder-developed roadmap.”

READ ALSO: Turkish Airlines Escapes Suspension Of Licence By NCAA

Mr Sirika affirmed that Turkish airlines had been notorious for their ‘shabby’ treatment of Nigerian travellers, and had the warning not issued, the operators won’t have flown into Abuja with a bigger aircraft.

“Following the threat by the nation’s aviation regulators to ban its operations in Nigeria, Turkish Airlines last night flew 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 have been notorious for their shabby treatment of Nigerian travellers over time, especially when they have to arrive their destinations without their checked-in luggage. This has always given rise to security issues at the airports with protests by affected passengers,” he stressed.

However, he stated that the airline has now shown commitment to improving 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 handling before doing the right thing.

Nigerian Travellers: Biggest Spenders At Heathrow Airport – Report

Heathrow_AirportNigerians are top spenders in luxury retail and VIP services at Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport

According to the recent statistics released by Heathrow, Nigerian travellers – who patronise this service – spend an average of £1,059 per visit on luxury retail.

Although over 70 percent of people in the country live on less than $2 dollars a day, its riches, concentrated in the hands of a few are freely spent on luxurious services abroad.

“Heathrow’s VIP Service was originally designed for dignitaries such as Heads of State but we recognised that the privacy and exclusivity that we offered is something that many passengers are looking for in their own lives,” Jonathan Coen, Heathrow’s retail director, said in a statement.

“Making the service available to First Class and Business Class passengers, we now provide a quality experience that allows our passengers to enjoy a personalised service and we’re delighted to welcome many of these from Nigeria,” he added.

Heathrow Airport’s VIP Service is available to First Class and Business Class travellers, flying on any airline to or from Heathrow.

The travellers get a dedicated entrance to the airport, collection from the aircraft and transportation directly to the exclusive suite where luggage is delivered. The passenger is also assisted with their check-in, immigration and baggage collection procedures.

“The Personal Shopping service is incredibly successful at Heathrow, especially with our international passengers. The service started in October 2013 with a five-member team and just over a year on, we have grown to 15 members who are on hand from the first to the last flight and offer assistance in 38 languages,” Coen added.