In order to avert the suspension of its Nigerian routes, Turkish Airlines (TK, Istanbul New) has agreed to upgrade the aircraft being used on its services to the country's capital city Abuja.

According to Nigerian news outlet Punch, airline representatives met with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in Abuja earlier this month where the carrier pledged to return all baggage of Nigeria-bound passengers which had been left in Turkey. The day before the meeting, the Nigerian Federal Government had ordered the suspension of Turkish Airlines' flights due to "repeated cases of poor passenger treatment," said a NCAA spokesperson.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, the airline currently flies to Lagos daily with a mixture of A330-200s and A330-300s, while its 3x weekly services to Port Harcourt Omagwa are operated by B737-900(ER)s, and as a result of the equipment used and their respective bigger payloads neither of these routes would seemingly be at issue here. It is Turkish Airlines' flights to the capital Abuja, which are scheduled to operate 5x weekly by B737-800s and only 2x weekly by B737-900(ER)s that seem to have been the troubled flights.

"At the end of the meeting, the airline's executives pledged to commence immediately freight of all leftover passengers' baggage back in Turkey. According to them, this will be achieved by instantly upgrading the B737-800 being used and found inadequate, to a larger A330 and B737-900." The airline said the flights would take place between December 13 and 17.

Referring to ADS-B data from Flightradar24, each flight has so far been upgauged on services between December 13 and December 16:

  • December 13 - A330-300 used to replace B737-800;
  • December 14 - B737-900(ER) used to replace B737-800;
  • December 15 - B737-900(ER) used to replace B737-800;
  • December 16 - A330-300 used to replace B737-900(ER).