25. 11. 2005 - ČSA Turned to the Appropriate Authorities for a Review of the Level of Approach Charges
Prague, 25 November 2005
The Management Board of Czech Airlines decided to file a submission concerning the abuse of a dominant position, by the state-owned Air Navigation Services Company (Řízení letového provozu České republiky, ŘLP, s.p.), in setting the amount of charges for the approach services provided in air navigation at the Prague Ruzyně Airport.
The Management Board of the Company, having first had the issue discussed by the Strategy Committee of CSA’s Supervisory Board, decided to turn to the Ministry of Transport, the Civil Aviation Authority, the Antimonopoly Authority, and the Revenue Directorate of the City of Prague, requesting that ŘLP, s.p.’s processes in setting the prices for air navigation approach services be investigated.
CSA considers the steps taken by ŘLP, s.p. in setting prices to be absolutely non-transparent, as the company dictates the fee levels unilaterally to CSA and other clients, without them being able to verify those prices, which are by far the highest in Europe.
“We trust that we will manage to find support for our opinion, primarily at the Ministry of Transport, with which we share the vision of building Prague as a strategic transfer point, a so-called hub between Western and Eastern Europe, and which is seriously harmed, in sharp competition, by this unduly high pricing policy of ŘLP”, said a member of the Managing Board – Strategic Director, Ing. Jan Váňa, who added: “We do not request anything but a fair comparison of the business environment.”
CSA is convinced that ŘLP’s policy harms not only CSA, but also especially deters specialised cargo carriers from using Prague as a hub, and prevents the opening of other direct long-distance flights.
CSA is interested in the approach charge rate being set in line with the applicable legal regulations and in it corresponding to the value of the services provided; in this they agree with IATA, AEA, and other airline carriers, with whom they have consulted. Having performed analyses and verified these facts, ČSA considers the claims of ŘLP s.p. to be absolutely unfounded, that the price of its services reflects a portion of the cost-load of the state-owned company Prague Airport (Letiště Praha, s.p.).
Approach charges at the Prague Ruzyně Airport are the highest in Europe. By way of comparison, we can say that for the mid-haul Boeing 737-400, the price of the approach service per 1 tonne of the aircraft’s weight is CZK 205 at the Prague – Ruzyně Airport, whereas at the Vienna Airport, it is only CZK 123; at the Bratislava Airport CZK 115; at the Frankfurt Airport CZK 74; and at the Warsaw Airport, only CZK 38.
The undue amount of approach charges at the Prague – Ruzyně Airport ultimately affects consumers, i.e., regular passengers and the clients of travel agencies, as airline carriers do not have any other option but to reflect the approach charges in the price of tickets.