Turkish Airlines has has described as ‘malicious’, a publication (not in Nigeria CommunicationsWeek) that a Nigerian, Oguadinna Somtochukwu, from Nnewi Anambra, resident of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia died inside a plane he boarded from Lagos to Kuala Lumpur.
When contacted on Thursday on the matter, a top management source of the airline reliably said: "We will like to inform you that there is no iota of truth in the story."
According to the source, "This is a blatant lie, and that somebody attributed the death of a person whose name did not even appear on the manifest of Turkish Airlines, is a sign of crude journalism and wickedness
"We have checked the information with Malaysian authorities As a matter of fact, it was on another airline, whose name we will not share the name.
"Within the scope of this information, we clearly and loudly say that it did not happen on Turkish Airlines flight; it has got nothing to do with Turkish Airlines.
"Why is it stated this way is another case which will be investigated and necessary official steps will be taken for all who are part of fabricating and distributing this lie," said the official sources.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 266 passengers, who missed their flight from Lagos to Istanbul on Monday due to temporary cabin’s air-conditioning malfunctioning, had been successfully airlifted to Turkey on Tuesday night.
In a telephone conversation from Turkey, a passenger, who did not want his name in print, confirmed that they landed safely in Turkey.
Explaining what caused the delayed flight, an eye-witness at the airport said, “The AC issue happened when the passengers started boarding the aircraft TK626 on Monday. The airline notified the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO), which also collaborated with them to resolve it in record time, but some passengers started behaving funny, almost attacking the crew, as if what happened was a technical issue. It was just a matter of asking them to come out of the plane for the crew to restart the engine.
“However, all entreaties made by the crew members to explain the situation to them why they should come out to resolve the issue to enable them fly that Monday night were rejected as many of the passengers started behaving unruly. Assuming they had listened while trying to explain things to them on time, they would have been airlifted them to Turkey that night.
“After they had caused delay and it was clear they could not fly again for the day, the airline had to lodge them in Golden Tulip hotel in Apapa, fed them to their satisfaction and on Tuesday, the passengers were airlifted around 10.30 p.m after the technical crew had done a re-check in.”
Based on the eye witness account, the online report that many passengers fainted as a result of the AC issue was false and a figment of the journalist’s imagination, adding that the only woman who needed help due to fatigue and dizziness requested for medical attention from the crew and the nurses at Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.
With the quick intervention and response of the airlines, some passengers were of the opinion that the airline is committed to serving its customers in Nigeria and across it’s over 296 destinations worldwide by putting safety first.
They also thanked the airlines for putting in necessary measures in place for the safety of the passengers no matter what happens.
However, some passengers were of the opinion that the airline should not accept the kind of unruly behaviour from any passenger.
According to the passengers, Turkish Airlines did more than enough to satisfy them, advising that the management of Turkish Airlines should sue the unruly passengers for causing discomfort and wasting the time of other law abiding passengers.