Somalia: Mogadishu-bound Turkish Airline abandons passengers at Djibouti airport

Almost 100 passengers including elderly people were left stranded at a Djibouti airport after a Turkish Airline abandoned them. Mogadishu-bound flight was re-routed to Djibouti
as result of cross winds that prevented the plane from landing at the Mogadishu airport, passengers told HOL.

TK flight 0686  has since flown to Istanbul, abandoning its passengers in Djibouti without prior notice. The plane’s pilot has later radioed Djibouti airport, informing them he’d make another attempt to fly to Mogadishu, however, passengers haven’t been flown to Mogadishu for two days.

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One of the passengers who stranded at the Djibouti airport told HOL that the airline has failed to take care of them, denying them of hotel bookings, an arrangement often used by airlines that fall short
of timely customer services.

“There were few white European and Turkish passengers, the Turkish embassy received the Turkish passengers and provided them accommodations. The Europeans were also allowed to go, the Chinese and Qatari ambassadors were also among the passengers but they left as well.” said one of the passengers who were forced to stay in Djibouti for more than two days.

Despite the good reception for some passengers, he said Somali passengers notwithstanding their certain passports they were traveling with were locked inside the transit lounge and were not allowed to leave the airport.

Among the stranded passengers included two senior diplomats from the Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs who like the ordinary citizens have received no assistance from the Somali embassy in Djibouti.

Turkish Airline FINALLY arranges flight for all passengers stranded in Djibouti airport.

Turkish Airline has not commented on the situation, however, Somali passengers travelling with international airlines often complain of mistreatment and impertinence by international carriers.

“This ill-treatment sends a clear signal of a perpetual culture of abuse and negligence meted out on Somalis despite being a lucrative market for Turkish airlines.” said another stranded passenger.