Air operator Blue Air has filed a criminal complaint against President of the National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) Horia Constantinescu, whom it accuses of „pursuing to cause extremely large material damages” to the company, through „false statements”, according to Agerpres.
„In order to complete the action started on 14 July 2022, which resulted in the production of extremely large material damages to Blue Air, so that the largest air transport company with full Romanian capital, private, be forced to cease its activities, and its main competitor to have a ‘clear path’ towards a real monopoly on the air passenger transport market in Romania, Constantinescu Horia continues to commit, in our opinion, the crime of communicating false information, a crime stipulated in art. 404, the Ciminal Code, knowing the false nature of the information he communicated,” a press release issued by the company and sent to AGERPRES on Wednesday informs.
On Tuesday, ANPC informed, in a press release, that it sanctioned Blue Air with over 10 million lei for the flights canceled starting from June 15, 2022 until now
According to the conclusions of the investigations conducted by ANPC commissioners, Blue Air Aviation SA has failed to propose any commitments or a plan of remedial measures for customers within the deadline set by the competent authorities. In the period covered by the investigation, specifically June 15 – September 12, 2022, 150,227 consumers from 23 EU member states were affected, and the company’s practice was repetitive.
The value of damages suffered by consumers exceeds the amount of 19.582 million euro (equivalent, calculated at the exchange rate on 16 September), over 96.447 million lei (equivalent, calculated at the exchange rate on 16 September 2022), respectively, for the analyzed period and represents only the value of the purchased tickets, in reality the damage being much greater.
Blue Air first announced on 6 September that it would suspend all scheduled flights until September 12 on grounds that its accounts had been seized by the Ministry of the Environment.
Although one day later, namely on 7 September, the Environmental Fund Administration announced that it had decided to suspend the seizure of Blue Air Aviation’s financial assets and the establishment of a 12-month schedule for the pay-off of the debt, the low-cost airline operator announced that it would resume flights only from 10 October, because it lacked the necessary funds to pay for fuel and other operational expenses related to the flights planned starting from 12 September.
Later on, at the end of September, the airline announced that it would not resume flights from 10 October and that it was in talks with potential investors, lenders and the Government of Romania to restructure its capital profile.