The Romanian government will assist in the repatriation of Romanian citizens stranded abroad due to the closure of the Blue Air airline, Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca announced at the beginning of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting. The Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air said it would expand its presence in Romania.
The Prime Minister said that more than 2,000 Romanian citizens stranded abroad have appealed to the country’s diplomatic missions for help after the Romanian low-cost airline Blue Air was grounded on Tuesday. The government therefore intends to help repatriate its citizens in distress.
At the same time, the Prime Minister warned that the public authorities must recover from the company that caused the situation the money spent to help the company and its passengers.
At the end of the cabinet meeting, government spokesman Dan Carbunaru said that 5 million lei (HUF 408 million, EUR 1 million) had been transferred from the budget reserve fund to the Ministry of Transport to transport Romanian citizens who need it, in cooperation with the Romanian national airline Tarom and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Wizz Air’s acting network officer announced on Wednesday that the airline will launch three new flights from Bucharest, install five additional aircraft in the Romanian capital and be ready to take on Blue Air passengers. Evelin Jeckel, according to the Agerpres news agency, said that the new planes will bring the number of Wizz Air aircraft based in Bucharest to 17. The low-cost airline will increase the number of its flights on certain routes from Friday, and from the beginning of December, it will launch new flights to Prague, Athens and Larnaca.
Asked by a journalist, Evelin Jeckel admitted that the decision to expand in Bucharest was taken after Blue Air announced on Tuesday the temporary suspension of its Romanian flights. She added that they are constantly monitoring the market and are always ready to react quickly. He also said that on Tuesday evening, discounted tickets of EUR 49.99 were launched for Blue Air passengers and that if stocks are exhausted and it is deemed necessary, further discounts will be offered to those in need.
Blue Air announced on Tuesday that it will suspend all its flights to Romania from 6 to 12 September. According to the information, the flights have to be cancelled because the Ministry of the Environment has ordered the freezing of the company’s bank accounts, which means they cannot cover their daily operating costs.
Environment minister Barna Tánczos said on Tuesday that the company had accumulated a debt of 28 million lei (HUF 2.3 billion, EUR 5.7 million) to the Romanian Environmental Fund, and that it had been prosecuted.