Investigation Concludes Ryanair Did NOT Have Privileged Position at Zagreb Airport

Lauren Simmonds

Updated on:

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, the agreement between Zagreb International Airport (MZLZ) and the low-cost airline Ryanair did not come about from any form of distortion of what would be the normal process around such tenders, the Competition Agency announced recently. Their investigation into the case was prompted by media reports and claims that more favourable conditions caused damage to the national carrier Croatia Airlines. Many would claim that their ticket prices did more harm to them than much else, but I digress.

It is an incentive programme from what’s known as Zagreb Airport’s ”price list” which includes eight different models, and one of them is the incentive model for traffic growth, which tried to reduce the negative consequences of the coronavirus pandemic that hit air transport terribly.

The CCA conducted a survey, which included both Croatia Airlines and the Croatian Civil Aviation Agency (HACZ), and found that the aforementioned model had passed the standard adoption procedure, which included the approvals of the Franjo Tudjman Airport User Council and HACZ.

It came into force back in December 2020, and all airlines operating on the new routes could apply for the incentive until June the 30th this year. The call was publicly available on Zagreb Airport’s own website, and the only one interested was Ryanair.

“The determined discount system in this model, as in other models of incentive programmes, has a standardised threshold that applies equally to all interested airlines and such a discount system in practice doesn’t result in the unequal position of airlines, as the discount scheme isn’t flexible and there is no individual determination of the discount in relation to each airline,” they explained from AZTN, whose report shows that the incentive is not calculated after signing the contract, but only after the deadline and determining compliance with the contract.

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