Turkish Airlines cancels flights to Nigeria due to low traffic

Turkish Airlines has announced the cancellation of all flights to Nigeria due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement released, the airline said it was cancelling all flights scheduled to depart from Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, the three international airports it operates in.

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According to a source, who spoke to Nairametrics, Turkish Airlines had cancelled 14 flights in total, with 3 in Lagos, 6 in Abuja and 5 in Port Harcourt. He said the airline had to take the decision because the traffic in the country had reduced drastically.

“In some cases, we found that only 20 passengers booked and it doesn’t make economic sense to go ahead with such trip. We had to provide refund for them and apologised,” he added.

Why this matters: With the latest announcement by Turkish Airlines, which brought in the index case of Italian with Coronavirus into Nigeria, it is clear that airlines’ losses could mount beyond the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecast that airlines would make a loss of over $113 billion as a result of the deadly virus.

Recall that Nairametrics had reported that many international carriers were taking drastic measures to limit the spread of the deadly Coronavirus by cancelling flights and modifying their routes. Some of these airlines include American Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Delta Airlines, Air Seoul, Oman Air, Air Mauritius, JejuAir Co Ltd, Qatar Airways, RwandAir, Scoot (Singapore Airlines), Saudia (Saudi Arabia’s state airline) and Kenya Airways, amongst others.

Last week, Emirates Airlines had reportedly asked its employees to embark on unpaid leave for up to a month due to the rapidly spreading coronavirus disease. The airline had also cancelled flights to Iran, Bahrain and to most of China because of the virus, as countries around the world continue to place strict restrictions on the entry of foreigners.

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