The General Manager, Turkish Airlines, Yunus Ozbek, has debunked as fake news the reports that it had suspended flights to Nigeria over the coronavirus outbreak.
“Indeed, reports had circulated in the media earlier in the week that Turkish Airlines had announced the cancellation of all its flights to Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt to avoid the further spread of the coronavirus currently ravaging the world,” the statement signed by Mr Ozbek on Thursday noted.
The GM dispelled the reports as not reflecting the true situation, even as he clarified that the airline had been constrained to adjust its flight schedules to several destinations around the world.
‘‘We would like to advise our passengers that some reported news mentioning Turkish Airlines’ full-suspension decision on its flight operations to/from Nigeria do not reflect the reality.
‘‘Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in various countries, Turkish Airlines has been changing its flight schedule to various destinations around the globe in accordance with international and national authorities.
“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 during March,” Mr Ozbek added.
Furthermore, he disclosed that affected passengers can seek refunds or have their flights changed free of charge.
‘‘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.’’
Meanwhile, Turkish Airlines has further underlined its commitment to the health and safety of its passengers, even as it pledged to work with the World Health Organizations (WHO) and other national authorities in following all appropriate precautions.
‘‘As the airline that always puts travel security at the forefront, Turkish Airlines will continue to monitor the latest developments on the situation with the national and international health authorities and take appropriate precautions.
“As the World Health Organization declared the potential risk of the virus, we have been acting in accordance with the recommendations and instructions of World Health Organization, IATA, and related national and international authorities since the first week of January 2020.’’
The airline, therefore, advised all passengers to complete the passenger self-reporting form distributed by the Federal Ministry of Health.