Wizz Air to take legal action against Budapest Airport
Monday, November 14, 2005, 14:55
Wizz Air, Central & Eastern Europe's leading budget airline, will take legal action before the European Commission against the anti-competitive behavior of Budapest Airport Rt, the airline announced. Wizz Air will submit complaints to the Competition Directorate General of the European Commission and the Hungarian Competition Authority because of the discriminative pricing applied by the ground handling branch of Budapest Airport Plc for ground handling services at Budapest Ferihegy airport. Wizz Air will seek a declaration that Budapest Airport Plc abuses its dominant position and therefore infringes competition rules by applying significantly different prices for equivalent transactions, thereby discriminating between Wizz Air and its competitors. Wizz Air will also submit a complaint to the European Commission for state aid potentially incompatible with the common market.
"It is totally unacceptable that Wizz Air pays close to 1 000 euro ground handling fee per flight, while others pay nothing or just a fraction of this price for similar services, especially as Wizz Air has been the largest low cost airline at Ferihegy Airport for over a year now. This discriminating practice of Budapest Airport causes significant competitive disadvantage - not only to Wizz Air, but also to other market players - amounting to several million euros. Budapest Airport refused to settle the issue via negotiations, therefore we were forced to take legal action," said József Váradi, Chief Executive Officer of Wizz Air.
Wizz Air flies a young fleet of 180 seater Airbus A320 aircraft from Katowice, Warsaw, Gdansk and Poznan in Poland, from Budapest in Hungary and from Sofia in Bulgaria on 32 European routes to 17 destinations currently. Since its start in May 2004 Wizz Air has carried over 2 million passengers.