The National Authority for Consumer Protection has launched this week a new invitation to Blue Air representatives to discuss compliance with the measures ordered, ANPC president Horia Constantinescu announced on Tuesday night, stressing that the airline’s representatives had said at one of the previous meetings that they were considering leaving the market and reopening another company, according to Agerpres.
„According to our information, they have not paid the kerosene bills in the last period. This is what some of their employees, who consider themselves injured, along with the 73,000 consumers, tell us. At this moment, we can tell you , in the most official version possible, that this week we launched a new invitation to those from Blue Air to verify compliance with the measures. Or, here is what they invoke, that because of the warnings we made, in the sense of the recommendation to properly evaluate their transport conditions (…). However, the aircraft seem full, but they no longer have the ability to carry out what they promised to the consumers in terms of the execution of the air journey,” Horia Constantinescu told private television Digi 24.
„Furthermore, I understand that even at this moment (Tuesday night, ed. n.) we are the ones to blame for their situation, although at the meeting we had, which was reported to the media, their representative told us that they were considering leaving market with this company to reopen another company in the fall. Here we are in September and things seem to be coming to fruition. Either I’m the prophet of airline activity or what he told us – and I mean Mr. Nastase (Bogdan Nastase, Blue Air lawyer, ed. n.), practically corroborates. (…) He informed us (…), in the presence of several colleagues, I was also present, he told us that they’re also considering leaving the market with this company and reopening a new one. I don’t remember the exact name, but it seems that things are approaching a somewhat predictable outcome,” the ANPC president said.
He emphasized that at the meeting that was to take place, it was necessary to analyze whether Blue Air respected the commitment regarding the payment of the amount of 15,000 euros per day that it had to make available to consumers who made complaints against the company.
Blue Air Aviation announced on Tuesday that it is suspending until Monday, September 12, all flights scheduled to depart from Romanian airports, due to the seizure of all the company’s accounts by the Ministry of the Environment, which makes it impossible for the company to pay the current costs, necessary for the operation of daily flights .
„Unfortunately, this blocking of all Blue Air bank accounts came shortly after the public statements and direct incitement to ‘stop buying Blue Air tickets’ propagated in the public space by a high-ranking representative of the Romanian state, respectively the president of the National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC),” the company’s representatives claimed.
They mention that those statements led to the „significant destruction of passenger confidence in Blue Air, generating losses of over 5 million euros, by reducing the volume of ticket sales, increasing the pressure from the key suppliers of Blue Air Aviation SA to pay the amounts necessary for daily operations in advance (impossible now, in the conditions of the seizure of all the company’s accounts), the blocking of all discussions held in London by the Blue Air shareholders with two large investment firms interested in entering the Blue Air shareholding and supporting the company in recovering the losses suffered in the 2.5 years in which it went through the greatest difficulties in the entire history of the world aeronautical industry”.
On July 14, ANPC announced that it fined Blue Air two million euros for the cancellation of more than 11,000 flights between April 30, 2021 and April 30, 2022, and forced the company to return the money to customers within ten days at most for all canceled flights.
A few days later, the president of ANPC, Horia Constantinescu, declared, in a press conference, that Blue Air is preparing to exit the market and is delaying the receipt of the minutes regarding the fine applied by ANPC and regarding the obligation to return the money to consumers.
Romanians stranded at airports abroad, following the suspension of flights by the Blue Air airline, can request help at the consular sections of the Romanian embassies or by calling the telephone number 0040751084537, managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and will be brought to the country by Tarom aircraft , the Government spokesman, Dan Carbunaru, announced on Tuesday night.
Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca discussed, on Tuesday evening, with relevant ministers and the authorities involved in managing the situation of Romanian citizens affected by the suspension of Blue Air flights.