Ground services provider Celebi Aviation has announced that the Austrian Ministry of Transport (BMVIT) has awarded their ground handling license at Vienna Airport to a different ground handling company.
The Ministry’s decision forces Celebi to terminate its contracts with all airline customers – for the provision of freight, mail and baggage handling (ramp handling) as well as passenger handling – and cease all handling as of 31 December, 2019.
Celebi questioned whether central issues were addressed for Vienna International Airport as a Hub Airport and stated that participating ground handlers to the bidding process voiced their concern, possibly with the intent to file for a legal dispute.
“The rule of law is unquestionable but such cases that are sensitive and technically complex should not be handled in an irresponsible way,” said the company in a statement.
“Although Celebi made every effort to retain the license until the last minute, the reasons for the decision are beyond the company’s control and in its opinion without the appropriate process rules.
“As the current license holder, but as well as participant to the tender process, Celebi has serious concerns related to transparency of the tender process.”
Celebi gave the example that a company without eligibility criteria at the first evaluation was permitted to submit additional documentation after the first ranking, then was ranked in top position in second round, while the tender authority informed Celebi in writing that no additional documents could be accepted.
“As a result, Celebi Aviation will use all legal means at its disposal, to seek recourse and defend its rights,” added the statement.
“Celebi will fight the decision from the current perspective, after an analysis in detail, at the Federal Administrative Court and even at the EU Court of law, if necessary.”