ANPC closed the control to Blue Air. The company could be fined up to 2 million EURO!
The National Authority for Consumer Protection (ANPC) has completed a two-month inspection of the air operator Blue Air, according to a press release. The official announcement comes hours after the Romanian press wrote about the thousands of complaints filed by outraged customers that they do not receive their money back for months or even years after their flights have been canceled.
Horia Constantinescu, the president of the institution, announces financial sanctions for Blue Air, but the process is not completed, because a series of provisions of a European directive still need to be transposed into legislation, he announces libertatea.ro.
"In return for this substantial contribution, we will provide them with a criminal record. And, exactly according to the model of the airline's activity, we will not give them their money back and they will have the possibility to keep the criminal record!", Points out the head of ANPC.
According to ANPC, the directive provides for fines of up to two million euros, depending on the seriousness of the violation. "Given that we are in the middle of the holiday season and that any irregularity in the operation of a company of the importance of an airline operator can affect a significant number of consumers, we will return in detail regarding this case, in relation to its evolution." shows in the ANPC communiqué.
According to ANPC, the fine could be given after July 5, the date on which the commission for setting the fine is expected to be published in the Official Gazette, as provided by Ordinance 58/2022.
Blue Air problems worsened during the pandemic. In recent years, the Romanian low-cost company has practiced an abnormal technique in aviation. Periodically, the company announced many new routes, but after a while they were canceled or postponed. In this context, the passengers who bought tickets woke up with the money blocked.
According to EU rules, in the case of canceled flights, the airline must offer alternatives to passengers, including a full refund. It's just that this didn't happen at Blue Air. Thousands of affected passengers were forced to accept the few alternative solutions: rescheduling flights or repaying the amount in the form of a valet loan.
Basically, the head of ANPC claims that Blue Air was financed by the money it refuses to return to its customers for the canceled flights.