Slovakia’s Anti-monopoly Office (PMÚ) has fined the M. R. Štefánik Airport in Bratislava €127,000 for misusing its dominant position on the market. In July 2016, the airport introduced a fee of €49 ex VAT for every passenger for the use of the General Aviation Terminal, regardless of whether they used the full VIP Service provided there or not. The airport has accepted the fine and will pay it.
“The anti-competitive practice had to do with how the fee for above-standard services was set. It was not linked to the actual use of the services by passengers, but was instead connected to people merely entering the General Aviation Terminal, while the entrance into the terminal had already been subject to another fee,” said PMÚ spokesperson Adriana Olsavská as cited by the TASR newswire. “This resulted in above-standard VIP services being paid for by customers who were not interested in these services and did not use them.”
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The proceedings were concluded on August 31, 2017, with the airport subsequently asking the PMÚ for a reconciliatory settlement. The PMÚ eventually agreed to settle the issue and reduced the fine by 30 percent to the final €127,000.
Bratislava airport spokesperson Veronika Ševčíková said that the board of directors of Bratislava airport acknowledges the PMÚ’s verdict and will pay the fine in due time.
Ševčíková explained that the VIP terminal was introduced at Bratislava Airport in response to Slovakia’s presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2016. The charge in question included unlimited stay at the terminal, full assistance with the check-in and check-out processes, refreshments, assistance with luggage, free parking in front of the terminal and free wifi connections.
“The M. R. Štefánik Airport management decided that as of September 1st 2017, the special VIP services would be provided for general aviation clients and clients of private flights only if they asked for them,” said Ševčíková. As a result of the settlement, passing through the General Aviation Terminal is now free of charge.
12. Feb 2018 at 23:50 | Compiled by Spectator staff