Bratislava, May 15 (TASR) – Up to 72 Bombardier aircraft leased by Eurowings, Austrian Airlines and other carriers could be grounded at M.R. Stefanik Airport in Bratislava in the near future, Transport Minister Andrej Dolezal (a We Are Family nominee) said at a briefing on Friday.
The airlines parked their planes in Bratislava due to the air transport crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The airport collects approximately €1,500 per aircraft per month for the lease of the area.
“We have several dozens aircraft here, so the airport can earn several tens of thousands of euros for the parking fee, to put it in a non-professional way; and at the same time there are synergistic effects in connection with aircraft repairs and maintenance,” said Dolezal. The airlines chose Bratislava Airport also because the service company Austrian Technik Bratislava with 300 employees operates there, which preserves the aircraft during long-term standing.
Fifteen aircraft used by Eurowings arrived in Bratislava from Germany and four aircraft of the same type of Austrian Airlines are already parked there, while the Austrian national air carrier should place a total of 17 aircraft in Bratislava. The airport expects the arrival of another 40 aircraft of another carrier in a short time.
Airport general manager Jozef Pojedinec estimated that the aircraft would be grounded for at least a few months. According to the latest estimates of international aviation organisations, air traffic will resume by autumn at about half the level before the coronavirus crisis. However, it may take several years for the number of passengers to return to last year’s level.