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Łódź. Better airport results – TVN24

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The situation at the Łódź airport was disastrous until recently. The city's vice president even appealed for someone to buy the port from Łódź and develop it. How is it now? – Much better, we have already overtaken Bydgoszcz and Lublin. We are setting a record, says the airport spokeswoman.

Vice-President Adam Pustelnik stood in front of the terminal of the Łódź port. Władysław Reymont and said during an organized press conference that the city no longer wants to finance the unprofitable port. He spoke standing next to a red sign with the words “airport for sale” in red. The conference was organized in January 2021, when the Covid-19 pandemic was still raging around the world. Economic magazines outdid each other in commenting that this – the first attempt in Poland to sell an airport – had very strong grounds for the dramatically poor results of the Łódź airport.

The city is looking for a buyer to buy the airport24/09 | It was bad – mainly due to competition from Okęcie and the second, large airport – in Modlin. Now the situation at the Łódź airport is even worse – because of COVID-19, the wind is blowing in the departure hall. And soon it will be tragic – because the Central Communication Port is being built near Łódź. That's why Łódź officials want to… sell the airport. Or rather, part of the shares in it.TVN24 Łódź

Suffice it to say that the Łódź airport did not receive funds from the anti-Covid shield. Why?

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– The Łódź airport, thanks to the complete closure of flights, improved its financial result. It recorded a smaller loss than in the same period a year earlier, when the flights took place – said the then Deputy Minister of Funds and Regional Policy, Waldemar Buda, in a message sent to local media.

– In reality it was different. Losses actually decreased, but this was because all airport employees agreed to reduce their salaries by 20% during the pandemic. In addition, we had no chance for financial support, because only airports in which the state-owned company Polskie Porty Lotnicze has shares received assistance, comments Wioletta Gnacikowska.

Łódź was pointed out that it was clearly lagging behind other small airports in Poland – including Bydgoszcz and Lublin.

Return from a long journey

– Today we are not only recording better results than the better-performing Bydgoszcz or Lublin for years, but we are setting a record for the number of passengers served – says Wioletta Gnacikowska, spokeswoman for the Łódź port, which the locals call Lublinek.

He adds that last year the port – as the only airport in Poland – was awarded by the Association of European Airports for the best coping with the reconstruction of traffic after the pandemic.

Number of passengers served in domestic and international trafficcivil Aviation Authority

– Analysts compared 2023 with the last year before the pandemic, 2019. While traffic in Europe is still 19%. lower by this amount, we are among the few airports that have recorded a significant increase – adds the tvn24.pl interlocutor.

Read also: President of CPK wanted. A competition has been announced

In 2023, the number of passengers using the Łódź airport was 356,878, an increase of 97%. compared to 2019. – This year we have a chance to break the record from 2012, when over 460,000 people used our port – adds Gnacikowska.

Domino effect

You can currently fly from Łódź airport in seven directions: to London, Milan, Brussels, Dublin, East Midlands, Alicante and Malaga. – Connections with Spain are especially popular. There are also six more destinations served by charter planes, says Wioletta Gnacikowska.

Read also: The passenger “inadvertently” blocked the cockpit door. The pilot had to crawl through the window

What made the port of Łódź bounce back? – The great infrastructure around the port is also important. We are the best connected city in Poland. We have a ring of expressways, we can get here easily from almost anywhere in the country – emphasizes the airport spokeswoman.

To make matters worse, the port of Łódź is still far from profitable. Marcin Gołaszewski, chairman of the Łódź city council, says that every year the city has to pay “large millions” extra to the airport. How much? In 2024, over PLN 5 million is planned for additional payments to the port management company.

Waves of uncertainty

– For us to break even, the number of passengers must be around half a million. We are very much counting on it, says Gołaszewski. He emphasizes that he is happy that “Lublinek” is doing a little better, but – as he points out – he still feels very dissatisfied.

– It is a perfectly located airport, but it has never been lucky enough to receive sympathy from the central government. We could successfully serve low-cost airlines with passengers who want to get to Warsaw. But instead, a lot was done to ensure that Modlin played this role – says the councilor.

He adds that the plans for the Łódź port are adversely affected by the uncertainty related to the Central Communication Port.

– The presence of a large airport hub would make the Łódź airport non-existent, which is understandable. It's just that basically nothing is known about this matter. Unfortunately, uncertainty is constantly associated with the Łódź airport – ends the tvn24.pl interlocutor.

We learned from the Łódź municipal office that the city is still looking for an investor who would decide to buy some of the shares of the port management company. However, the controlling interest must remain in public hands.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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