No-frills airline Wizz Air announced on Thursday, November 19, that following lengthy but eventually unsuccessful negotiations with M. R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava, it has decided to give up its plans to establish a hub for its flights in the Slovak capital, the TASR newswire reported.
“We're disappointed, but we've been unable to reach agreement on business terms with Bratislava Airport,” said Wizz Air executive vice-president John Stephenson. As a result, the company will halt its Bratislava-Rome flights as of January 11 next year.
Wizz Air Holding announced in July that it intended to enter the Slovak market, launching its activities as of September with a Bratislava-Rome route. The move came following the bankruptcy of SkyEurope Airlines earlier this year.
Wizz Air is the largest low-cost airline in central and eastern Europe. According to the airport in Bratislava (BTS), the abandonment Wizz Air's plans to establish a base for its flights in the Slovak capital could have been expected, since the airline had unacceptable demands, the spokesman of Bratislava airport, Radek Zábranský, told TASR on August 19. He added that as far as the business questions are concerned, the Slovak airport reached agreement with Wizz Air.
“Unfortunately, there were 'non-business' requests that were quite unacceptable for us,” he explained. The airport would have to provide very difficult commitments, e.g. the airport would have to take full responsibility for a protection of the planes in terms of a potential collision with birds to a certain height. Wizz Air also refused to make any commitments with regard to the volume of transported passengers; and requested the contract to respect British law, while the company itself is based in Hungary. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
20. Nov 2009 at 10:00