Discontent grows at Priština Airport

Authorities unhappy with Limak
The Franco-Turkish consortium Limak Holding and Aeroport de Lyon, which run Priština Airport, are reported to be having problems with local authorities over a range of issues. The public broadcaster, Radio Television of Kosovo, says that authorities are unhappy with various managerial decisions made by the consortium so far. Problems first appeared late last year when authorities accused Limak of violating the concession agreement in respect to the asking price for rent of commercial space at the airport. Furthermore, the airport has recently significantly increased handling fees for carriers using Priština, much to the displeasure of airlines. British Airways, which operates three weekly flights to the city from London Gatwick, has been one of the most vocal in its dissatisfaction with the consortium. The head of Priština Airport, Ferda Yakar from Turkey, resigned from his post in October last year.

Another major disagreement between the airport operator and local authorities is the airport’s controversial name “Adem Jashari” - a guerrilla fighter regarded as a hero by some but a villain amongst minority groups. The name was given in 2010 based on a government decision, however, Limak is said to be unhappy with it. The operator did not want to comment on the name issue to local media. Limak Holding and Aeroport de Lyon are to run Priština Airport for twenty years under the concession agreement.

Priština saw historic passenger figures in 2011 making it the third busiest airport in the former Yugoslavia for the first time in its history. The airport is likely to hold onto its position in 2012 with several frequency increases and new services announced by various airlines for the upcoming summer season and a number of other additions introduced over the 2011/2012 winter period.


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