Good old David Ciceo is clearly taking the same stupid pills that are handed out to all government employees in Cluj.
I’m going to translate his statement and then explain what actually happened since Mr. Ciceo is either unable or unwilling to understand it.
David Ciceo, head of the Cluj Airport on the subject of Wizz Air leaving: they blackmailed others that they’d leave so they could get a better price.
David Ciceo, the director of the International Cluj Airport, stated that Wizz Air’s dissatisfaction with the airport’s taxes are unjustified.
“We believe that they’re wrong. The [Cluj] County Council and the Cluj Airport acknowledge that we must adhere to the standards of the European Union and we must charge uniform tariffs to all [airline] operators. We hope there will be no inconvenience to the people of Cluj but in the long run we think we made the right decision. We cannot make separate agreements with Tarom, Lufthansa and other companies and therefore we charged Wizz Air the same rates,” said David Ciceo.
The airport director said that other airports in Europe have given low cost airlines permission to operate for free and have sustained huge losses.
“The low cost market is volatile and there are airports in Europe where low cost companies have paid no fees to operate there. Those communities were destroyed and the companies in question left after causing massive damage,” said David Ciceo.
The director gave an example of the way in which Wizz Air negotiates contracts. “When they were negotiating with the Timisoara Airport they held a press conference in Arad, intimating that they would move all their flights to Arad because of better prices there. But after that they did not honor that promise [to Arad]. They forced the people in Timisoara to give them a better contract and they moved there [to Timisoara],” said David Ciceo.
Wizz Air has announced that they will move a large share of their flights from Cluj to Tirgu Mures because of excessive airport fees.
Got a hanky close by? Let’s all cry for the poor victim in this story, which is clearly Mr. Ciceo. Sorry for all the people in Cluj who got stranded but what can he do? It’s clearly mean old Wizz Air’s fault for just being so gosh darn tricky and greedy.
To begin with, the story of Wizz Air and Arad/Timisoara Airports can be found here (Ro) – and a tip of the hat to a reader who sent me this link.
What happened is this: Wizz Air was already flying to Timisoara when their contract was about to expire. They spoke to the people at Arad Airport and were on the verge of getting a better price. Then Timisoara did whatever it took to get Wizz Air to sign a new three-year contract and so they decided to fly to Timisoara and not Arad.
Here’s a news flash for Mr. Ciceo: Wizz Air is a private company. Their entire mission in this world is to make money. If they can do it by playing Arad against Timisoara, well that’s what they’re going to do. It’s called a cost benefit analysis and they’d have been fools not to seize the opportunity to get a better deal.
Secondly, in the case of Cluj, what happened is that Mr. Ciceo decided to raise the fees for all airlines. He makes it seem so magnanimous, how he treats all airlines the same. You can see where he gets this attitude after reading my last article where the mayor is happy to brag that he can charge whatever fees he likes to businesses. Mr. Ciceo is, unfortunately for him, in a different position because airline fees are heavily regulated by the European Union and therefore he can’t offer different prices to different companies. All he can do is overcharge all of them, which is exactly what he did.
Therefore Mr. Ciceo’s statements about low cost carriers not paying fees to other cities in Europe is both disingenuous and irrelevant because that was in the past. There have been a whole host of legal rulings of late which specifically enforce fairness in charging fees to companies in airports.
And while Mr. Ciceo mentions Lufthansa is currently paying the (newly raised) fees, it should be noted that the airline with the most flights out of Cluj is TAROM (yummy!), which is owned by the government of Romania. Therefore of course they’re going to pay the higher fees! Duh.
The company with the second most number of flights was, by the way, Wizz Air ;)
I’ve already provided the links showing the fees charged by Targu-Mures and Cluj respectively. I’m quite sure Targu-Mures is equally charging all of their airlines too. Bragging about it means nothing when you’re compelled by law to do so. The real question is how exactly can poor old Targu-Mures survive by charging airlines so little to land at their airport? And why exactly did Cluj suddenly feel the need to raise their landing fees?
It looks like Targu Mures also sweetened the deal (Ro) with Wizz Air by paying them 100,000 euros. I note that it was the Mures County Tourism Association which paid the money in order to attract more tourists to their city. Hey, if it’s legal and upfront, that’s how business is done, folks. You got to pay to play. And clearly Targu-Mures is interested in bringing in more tourists to their fair city, unlike Cluj which has done next to nothing.
Knowing how retarded the Cluj tourism office is, it doesn’t surprise me that they didn’t have a hundred grand to keep Wizz Air happy and are now crying over how sad and unfair life is. And little by little, my beautiful Cluj keeps getting ground underfoot as these morons let other cities steal a march on them.