Turkish Airlines Could Be Banned From Nigerian Airspace

The Federal Government of Nigeria has issued a warning to Turkish Airlines that it must solve ongoing baggage handling issues or risk being banned. Unless the airline takes action, it will be banned from Nigerian airspace and all operations to Nigeria will cease. The ban will come into effect on Monday.

Turkish Airlines plane
Turkish Airlines has until Monday before the ban comes into effect. Photo: [email protected] via Flickr

Turkish Airlines has been leaving bags behind, and it’s causing problems. Live And Lets Fly reported that, on one recent flight to Nigeria, the airline left a whopping 85% of passenger bags in Istanbul. But now Nigeria has had enough.

The ban

Today, the country’s governing aviation body issued a warning to the airline. Unless it could improve the situation, it will be banned from operating in the country. The Government described the issue as “repeated cases of poor passenger treatment” and stated that the airline must “suspend its operations into Nigeria until such a time when the airline is ready to operate with the right size of aircraft that can transport all passengers with their baggage at the same time.”


Turkish Airlines flies to four destinations in Nigeria; Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt.


The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said that the ban is the result of several weeks of incidents. It also stated that meetings were held with the airline in an attempt to solve the problem but that talks had failed.

The statement from the NCAA continues to say that “If no remedial action is carried out by your airline, this suspension shall be effective from the 16th of December, 2019.” However, as of Friday morning, Turkish Airlines said it had not received official notification of the ban.


Why does this warrant a ban?

Passengers have been complaining about issues for a few weeks now. But it’s not only the fact that bags are being left behind. Passengers are also upset with how the airline has been handling complaints from those who have been frustratingly left without luggage.

One passenger, upon hearing about the ban said, “Nice one. I experienced it on Sunday night. Thank God I was able to get my bags on Monday night.”

Excess luggage airport
Turkish Airlines has reportedly overbooked luggage and has been forced to leave bags behind. Photo: Kenneth Lu via Flickr

The issue is not only affecting passengers. Abdullahi Sidi, Acting Director-General, NCAA commented that, “Our airport authority had been facing serious crises controlling the passengers at the airport whenever they arrived without their baggage.”

He went on to explain that the safety of airport staff was in question due to the airline’s failures as, “This issue had made passengers carry out several mob actions at our airport and it was a great threat to our airport facilities.

Why is baggage being left behind?

Turkish Airlines makes a lot of money by charging excess and oversize baggage fees. Recently, it hasn’t been restricting the number of bags passengers are allowed to check-in. This means that its aircraft’s cargo hold cannot hold all the bags.

Even if the airline is aware that the hold is full, it does not restrict anyone from booking extra bags. Even if the plane is at maximum capacity and bags have to be left behind, the airline will continue to take money for luggage it knows it cannot transport.

Turkish Airlines headquarters, in istanbul
Turkish Airlines headquarters has not yet issued a statement in response to the warning. Photo: Sympatexter via Flickr

So far, Turkish Airlines has not issued an official statement or responded to the Nigerian Government’s statement. Nor have they responded to Simple Flying’s request for comment. It is unclear what course of action the airline will now take before the ban comes into effect on Monday. However, one could suggest that changing its baggage policy to limit the number of bags passengers can take would be a sensible option.

What do you think of the ban? Do you think Nigeria is right to issue the ban? Let us know in the comments below.


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well known story from Turkish Airline… 4 times in less than 18 month…Enough, Not traveling with TA anymore…Shame…

Gerry S

Never heard of this practice before. Shameful! Nigerian authorities are right to threaten to ban Turkish. The selfish greed which obviously creates this unfortunate condition for both citizens and authorities must be addressed and confronted. Recent actions taken by Turkey itself has greatly diminished it’s standing internationally. Stuff flows downhill. Mighty Turkish Airlines just might have become a casualty of that.


I’ve had the pleasure of passing through IST at the same time as a flight to Nigeria was checking in, the amount of baggage is not a couple of extra bags, its six or eight suitcases per person. A case opened up at security was full of Man Utd tops sealed in bags. This isn’t a little bit over, I’ve been a little over several times with Turkish, never charged, this is 100’s of Kg of excess, whole planeload not surprised it doesn’t fit. And as soon as you say can’t carry sh*t hits fan!


And your point being the “Nigerians” should limit the weight of their luggage?
smh in what people say on the internet. READ THIS PART OF THE ARTICLE AGAIN ‘Why is baggage being left behind?’


These are not ordinary passengers but people buying goods to resell. There is nothing wrong with that, after all there is a demand. Its not only in Nigeria either, people from all over Africa go to China and other places for the same purpose. The point is this is not luggage as such but commercial cargo. Perhaps it should be treated as such.


I think Turkish should just notify passengers that due to excess luggage,that thier luggage would come in a day or two after.and you decide if you want to go ahead or nah.not being aware is the sad thing


Nigerian govt should have banned this Airline long time ago. They way they treat and disrespect Nigerian passengers. They serve dogs food to passengers that fly Nigerian/African routes. They don’t give a shit about our luggages. I will never fly TA again.


Ok good dont fly again you dog


Turkish airlines flying to 306 destinations in 124 countries around the world..
and first time I have heard things like that.
and other hand ,I been several times in Nigeria.
and Nigeria have distinctive and different perspectives in manythings..like different world.
if there is a problem with a few passengers’ baggage and then to enlarge to problem is inexperienced attitude of Nigeria.


I totally agree.


Nigeria is right on the warning issued….Its really unfair way to treat customers….Or is it for the fact that TA knows the weak side of Nigerian govt nd are trying all sorts of shit because they knows how poor our government is ,on things that matters…..?….Anyway..its good to know that Nigeria stood for their right on this,,THY should treat people in a way they would like to be treated,at last,we re all human…….Live nd lets fly….live nd let live….☕


It should be banned,just got a call from my son who traveled with ityesterday to kenya destination Nairobi and told me almost all the passenger didn’t receive their luggage it was all left at instabul and they don’t give any information .Shame on them!I hope Kenya will ban it also

Avi Tod

It happens by Lufthansa British Airways Emirates etc. as well. I really wonder if Nigerian goverment has balls big enough to ban European airlines too? I think that it would be much better to focus their security problems in their country. Turkish Airlines can suspend its flights to Nigeria as an answer. So they can use their own local air carriers if they have some to compense or they can make transfers via European cities which requests transit visas. Actually the best solution will be that they stay there where they are.


Such a barbaric statement to make Avi Tod, I wouldn’t imagine what someone like you would be like in person, probably absolute filth. You didn’t address the issue at hand but resulted in making a callous statement like “the best solution will be that they stay there where they are”, well i hope you never get to make this statement outside.


Your reasoning is spot-on. I have seen the volume of check-in baggage and it is staggering. This situation is a direct result of not limited capacity but rather no limits to baggage being checked-in. Already Nigeria as a destination with additional perks regarding luggage. A lack of control on this has resulted with justified passenger discontent. Passengers are the lifeblood of an airline and should be respected. I find Turkish airlines a reliable airline, however the majority of the issues I have had over the past 5 years have been luggage related.

A Razak

This is actually not the first time th airline has been treating their African passengers that way. In fact my last flight with them about nine years ago was no different. Even though I had booked our flight and checked-in in time my connecting flight was delayed and so we were flown to Accra our final destination and had to wait for three good days without being able to change. That apart the aircraft used was so wretched with tray tables falling apart and a very poor cabin pressure adjustment. It took us several months to recover. Also our luggage… Read more »


It’s an indication of the low regards Turkish Airlines holds its Nigerian passengers. Exploitation. It’s exploitation pure and simple and the Nigerian Authorities are right to step up for their citizens.
I only wish such a stance was more consistently applied


Well to my own point of view its right for the NCAA to look into this matter properly cause as of a day before yesterday i booked a flight for my self coming back for this X-mas to nigeria with turkish airline cause what turkey only operates with turkish airline please i plead on NCAA to resolve this issue at hand please thanks and remain blessed

Kenneth wright

My wife recently flew from Edinburgh to Istanbul
The light was cancelled at the last minute without explanation
The ground crew were extremely unhelpful and it took a lot of complaining to get an alternative flight.
Even the compensation claim process is made as difficult as possible to make the claimant give up

Prince Ola

Kindly find other way to settle this problem in lieu of ban, please consider a lot of people that has already booked and pay for their flight ticket with their last funds, this is festival period people are planning to meet their love ones.but if it’s a must to take such action please give 2 months notice so that no one will purchase ticket from the airline because refunds process will take forever.


I am a regular traveler of TA for almost 15 years . They are the best company i have ever used .

Mr smith

That’s a nice move, it’s not only Turkish Airline ,The worst among them is Egypt Airline ,Ethiopia Airline they will be in position of your bag for upto one month, on Egypt transit you will be hardly attends to once you are a Nigeria national. Any Airline craft leaving Nigeria is always a scrab Boeing they do keep for Nigeria passengers,But I cant blame them it’s all our politicians fault who downgraded us in all ramifications,fix your national aviation and watch them trying to compete. Good night my people

Michael Creed

TA has gotten too big for its boots. Their customer treatment is shameful and their attitude is atrocious. Earlier this year my flight was delayed by more than 4 hours, resulting in a layover of just short of 12 hours. They refused to accommodate me in a hotel, so I had to pay out of my own pocket to stay in the Yotel on the departures area.

Godwin Ehigie

For the first time, I could hear Nigeria standing up for her citizens. I have flown the Turkish airline several times and could notice that even the on board staffs have little regard for Nigerians. While commending the government for this step, we should also critically look at the possibility of Nigeria having her own national carrier. The money that is stolen by corrupt politicians is enough to start and run a world class carrier that can serve the needs of Nigerians better.


The best way to stop the embarrassing attitude of Turkish airline is by banning them from flying on Nigeria airspace…
Apart from this baggage issues, their are other unlawful Levi’s they do subject Nigerian publics to simply because they think they can do things without any body stopping them


Yes i have experience the same thin from Turkish Airline, at least two times, And they do that at will, especially with Nigerians, they dont care, But they treat European Passport with dignity. On 2 of the 3 time i traveled with Turkish Airline, we supposed to took another flight to Lagos the same day, when we arrived by 14:45 pm, but we was left there till the next day afternoon , that is 24 Hours of arriving Istanbul, No Hotel reservation, not Food. they packed all Nigerian from All European Countries together, and board one Aircraft to them. in… Read more »


Yes i have experience the same thin from Turkish Airline, at least two times, And they do that at will, especially with Nigerians, they dont care, But they treat European Passport with dignity. On 2 of the 3 time i traveled with Turkish Airline, we supposed to took another flight to Lagos the same day, when we arrived by 14:45 pm, but we was left there till the next day afternoon , that is 24 Hours of arriving Istanbul, No Hotel reservation, not Food. they packed all Nigerian from All European Countries together, and board one Aircraft to them. in… Read more »


I flew from Lagos to Europe last 4 round trips, all OK. No problems. I was not aware of related problems but here are my remarks: at check in, every time i see lots of travelers with excess of luggage, 2-3 large fabric bags, fighting with with clerks to put as many luggage on cargo. Also, carry in cabin way too many hand luggage which exceed with a lot of kg allowed size and weight. TK is making efforts to find space to all of them. So, fist, why not obey to luggage regulation ??? and there will be no… Read more »


Agree. Reduce the bags and the problem will go away. It’s that simple.