Turkish Airlines has issued a press statement on the suspension of its flights to and from Nigeria. The airline had on Tuesday said it had cancelled “several” of its flights to to its destinations in the country ( Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt) due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Turkish has now clarified the situation to his passengers in a letter to the press.
“Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in various countries, Turkish Airlines has been changing its flight schedule to several destinations around the globe in accordance with international and national authorities,” Turkish said in the statement.
“We would like to inform our passengers that due to the lowered load factors caused by the suspension of other routes, several of our flights to/from Nigeria will be undergoing cancellations in March.
“Passengers with tickets to the cancelled flights will be able to refund or change their tickets free of charge until the end of May, if they start the process until March/April depending on the route.”
The airline, which has also cut back its operations to other international destinations, said cancellations affecting its Nigerian destinations would start for flights originally scheduled to arrive Lagos on March 17, 23 and 29, and flights for Abuja scheduled for March 13, 16, 20, 25, 27 and April 1, 2020. Flights to Port Harcourt would not operate on March 11, 13 18, 25 and 25.
The statement however did not say when the airline would resume flights again into the country, although it is generally projected that the coronavirus pandemic would begin to diminish by the end of April. Passengers who have already booked Turkish flights are advised to contact their travel agents for rescheduling or refund.
Nigeria’s first index case of the coronavirus, a passenger of Italian origin, arrived in Lagos on board a Turkish Airlines flight.