Vienna International changes ground handler

Written by: Alwyn Brice |
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The Austrian Ministry of Transport (the BMVIT) has awarded the ground handling licence at Vienna airport, as of January 2020, to a new ground handling company.

Celebi Ground Services Austria currently has service contracts with airline customers for the provision of freight, mail and baggage handling, as well as passenger services; however, with the decision of the Ministry of Transport to grant the licence to another company, Celebi is now obliged to terminate its contracts with its customers immediately and stop all handling as of December 31, 2019.

Celebi feels, however, that under the international standards for such licensing tenders, the preparation of the application documents was carried out without sufficient knowledge. Further, Celebi is questioning if central issues were addressed for Vienna International as a hub airport. Following the Ministry’s decision over the award, the participating ground handlers to the bidding process voiced various concerns. Although Celebi made every effort to retain the licence until the last minute, the reasons for the decision were ultimately beyond the company’s control.

As the current licence holder, as well as being a participant to the tender process, Celebi states that it has serious concerns relating to the transparency of the tender process. As an example, a company without eligibility criteria at the first evaluation was permitted to submit additional documentation after the first ranking, and was subsequently ranked in the top position in the second round; meanwhile, the tender authority informed Celebi in writing that no additional documents could be accepted.

As a result of this, Celebi Aviation has said that it will resort to legal means to seek recourse and defend its rights in court.

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