NUATE denies Turkish Airlines’ $600,000 ticket allegation

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Turkish Airlines aircraft 

The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has refuted Turkish Airlines’ accusations of 600,000 dollars ticket racketeering against some of its former staff members.

The union denounced the airline’s claims in a statement signed by NUATE’s General Secretary, Comrade Ocheme Aba, on Monday in Lagos.

Aba said that the attention of the union was drawn to media reports where Turkish Airlines accused sacked union members of involvement in ticket racketeering in 2023.

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Aba clarified that the alleged loss of 600,000 dollars by the airline was misleading.

“In the first place, the claim that the Airline lost $600,000 is mere phantom. What happened is that sometime in April, 2023, Turkish Airlines’ headquarters issued a sales restriction circular.

“Which allowed sales of only two premium classes of tickets as a response to foreign airlines’ difficulty in repatriating their proceeds to home countries due to foreign exchange constraints in Nigeria.

“But, in a contradicting manner the Airline had an advertised fare on the website which was much lower than the permitted fares.

“Therefore, intending passengers who accessed such fare, but could not pay online were directed by the global call center to approach the Nigerian offices.

“As the workers could not attend to the customers due to the sales restriction, the passengers resorted to creating ugly scenes at the sales offices which became riotous at times,” the comrade said.

Aba also explained that the sales staff, under the direction of the then sales manager, processed tickets using the Passenger Name Record (PNR) obtained online by customers, as the airline’s booking system allowed.

He emphasised that all ticket sales were properly documented and the airline’s accountants received all due payments.

Aba stated that no funds belonging to Turkish Airlines were missing, and no staff members benefitted financially from the alleged internet sales.

NUATE condemned Turkish Airlines for blaming its workers for failing to comply with sales restrictions, attributing the issue to shortcomings in the airline’s ICT system among other factors.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that NUATE picketed Turkish Airlines on May 21, leading to disruptions in the airline’s operations and affecting over 300 passengers.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) intervened to mediate between the parties, resulting in a temporary suspension of NUATE’s action and a commitment from the airline to airlift passengers over the weekend.

Turkish Airlines, in a statement, reiterated its allegations against sacked union members, claiming their involvement in ticket racketeering amounting to 600,000 dollars. (NAN)

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