A new terminal dedicated to business passengers was officially opened this Tuesday on the Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (Baneasa). The terminal cost EUR 2.5 million and has two boarding gates and a capacity of 30,000 passengers per year. Financing was covered by the Bucharest National Airport Company (CNAB) from its own resources.
“It is a project we have announced a year ago. The new terminal will serve private aviation as starting March 2012, low cost carriers will be relocated on Otopeni,” said Anca Boagiu, the Romanian Transports Minister, according to Mediafax.
Low cost carriers have criticized the authorities’ decision to transfer low-cost flights from their present hub at Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (Baneasa) to Henri Coanda International Airport (Otopeni) on many occasions. The switch will force budget carriers to increase air fares, Jozsef Varadi, CEO of Hungarian company Wizz Air which also has operations locally, has previously warned. The increase will be generated by 40 percent higher airport taxes at Otopeni than at Baneasa.
According to the CEO, the measure will affect the entire airline industry and force some players to leave Bucharest and go elsewhere. Varadi described the airport taxes at Otopeni as excessive. “Otopeni is more expensive than Warsaw or Budapest, which is ridiculous as the market does not justify this difference,” he commented.
Asked about the low carriers’ discontent with the measure, Boagiu said that they should “repress their complaints” as the services on Baneasa are below those available in a bus station “somewhere in the country side”.