British Airways unamused with Priština Airport ownerBritish Airways is planning to suspend its flights from London Gatwick to Priština Airport later this year, local media report. The move comes following British’s growing dissatisfaction with the airport’s new primary owner, Limak Holding. Limak angered airlines after it significantly increased handling fees at the airport. Furthermore, British was furious after the airport owner terminated contracts with British Petroleum for the supply of aircraft fuel and selected the Kosovar Ex Fis company instead. As a result, on its flights to Priština, British Airways introduced refuelling stops in Dubrovnik.
British Airways operates three weekly flights from London Gatwick Airport to Priština and would prove as a big loss to the airport as it is the most established carrier operating flights to the city. “Yes, it is true, we will cease flights from Kosovo”, the airline said in a statement to the “Zëri” newspaper. Up until now Priština has provided subsidies for certain airlines operating flights to the city, however, the new management has now suspended them.
Limak has had to deal with criticism from all sides. Earlier this year it was involved in a spat with local authorities which accused it of violating the concession agreement in respect to the asking price for rent of commercial space at the airport. However, the Turkish company continues to the deliver on its main promise and that is the construction of a brand new terminal, to be completed next year. British Airways’ subsequent pull out will benefit Turkish Airlines the most which will be able to scoop up the remaining transit passengers. On the other hand, the city will be left without a direct air link to the British capital.