Wizz Air considers cutting ties with scrutinised ground handling partner

posted on 12th August 2019 by William Hayes
Wizz Air considers cutting ties with scrutinised ground handling partner

Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air has said it is considering the cancellation of its contract with Malév Ground Handling (MGH), which is currently being investigated for overcharging.

The investigation, which was ordered by Hungary’s state secretary for consumer protection, was prompted by local press reports which highlighted that the actual prices charged by the company are higher than those it advertised.

“In the interests of resolving the situation, we are weighing all possibilities, including the cancellation of the contract,” said Wizz Air Executive Vice President Diederik Pen in a statement.

Pen acknowledged that MGH was violating consumer protection rules and breaking the law by setting higher prices than those advertised and by offering services Wizz Air does not offer.

A specific example of the company’s overcharging came from a Hungarian couple who forgot to check-in online and ended up paying 20,000 HUF (EUR 60) instead of the advertised HUF 9950 (EUR 30).

They noticed afterwards on their receipts that instead of an “airport check” fee, they had paid for a “catch your flight” service – something Wizz Air does not offer, as it later made clear in a statement.

The contract under consideration applies to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, where MGH operates business lounges, VIP services and full airport ground handling.

The ground handling company, owned by Hungarian National Asset Management Inc., was established in 2005 and employs 380 people in total, according to its website.