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Friday, September 17, 2021

Modlin airport. Personnel changes in the port authority. “Stołeczna”: this is the price for unlocking funds for development

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Changes to the management board of the Modlin airport are in the pipeline. The supervisory board intends to replace all existing members. According to “Gazeta Stołeczna”, the former vice-mayor of Żoliborz and PiS councilor Grzegorz Hlebowicz will replace one of them. Personal reshuffle is to be a condition for unblocking money to save a dilapidated port.

The announcement about the qualification procedure for members of the company’s management board was published in the second half of August on the website of the Modlin airport. The search concerns people for the position of president and three vice presidents: sales and marketing, operational and corporate. The deadline for submitting applications has expired on Friday, they will be opened after the weekend, and the supervisory board is to conduct interviews at the beginning of September.

On Friday, “Gazeta Stołeczna” recalled that this is yet another competition announced in recent years, but “the first when changes in the authorities are actually to occur, because the shareholders agreed between them earlier”. According to the newspaper, Grzegorz Hlebowicz, former vice-mayor of Żoliborz and current councilor of this district on behalf of Law and Justice, and previously also a spokesman for the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency, is to enter the company’s management board. In turn, the local government side was to select Tomasz Szymczak, former president of the Lodz airport, as a candidate for the board.

According to the findings of “Stołeczna” that none of them will be the president of Modlin airport.

The changes mean the departure of Leszek Chorzewski, associated with the Modlin airport since its inception, and since 2006 acting as the president. Marcin Danił is also to leave after 11 years, which according to “Stołeczna” was to be one of the conditions of “Ports Lotnicze” to conclude an agreement with the local government shareholders. “Danił has officially confirmed our information about his departure” – reports “Stołeczna”.

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The agreement will unlock money for the development of the airport?

Marek Mieszalski, chairman of the supervisory board of the Modlin airport, who is also the treasurer of the local government of Mazovia, was asked about the plans to join the management board of Hlebowicz and Szymczak. – I do not confirm, I do not deny. We hope for an agreement with “Polish Airports”, which will unlock money so that the company can survive until better times. There are different amounts on the table – told “Stołeczna”.

According to the journal, personnel changes are to be the price for unlocking funds for the development of Modlin. We are talking about the amount of PLN 50 million, with the airport initially receiving five million and another 20 million in 2022. The money is to be provided by all shareholders, not only the local government of Mazovia. “Stołeczna” speculates that there are chances that the airport will not go bankrupt. He also states that a contract is being negotiated with a new carrier, thanks to which new destinations will be launched.

Let us recall that the airport has so far been accused of being unprofitable, because its main partner was Ryanair, which offers cheap flights. During the SOS debate for Modlin in June Marcin Danił informed that in the years 2017-19, the airport generated a revenue of one million zlotys per month. – From the very beginning, we were a dedicated port for low-cost airlines. That is why we partner with the largest low-cost carrier, so it is difficult to talk about a bad business model – he argued. He also emphasized that when it comes to air traffic, Modlin is one of the airports that returns to normal operation the fastest after the pandemic.

Modlin airportTVN archive

A dispute between the shareholders of the Modlin airport

Several entities have shares in the Mazowieckie Airport Modlin: 27.86% belongs to the “Polish Airports” State Enterprise, the Masovian Voivodeship has 36.17%, the Military Property Agency – 31.56%, the local government of Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki – 4.41 percent shares. All decisions regarding the airport must be made unanimously, and due to the ties between shareholders and separate parties of the political scene, there has been a stalemate for several years. Meanwhile, the airport fell into financial trouble, the shareholders were unable to agree on the expansion of the crowded passenger terminal, one of them also blocked the sale of some shares to a private investorwhich was the hope of avoiding bankruptcy.

The PO-PSL coalition ruling Masovia accuses PiS and the airports of deliberately obstructing the rescue of Modlin. – I have such an irresistible impression that the government side, and especially PPL, does not care that this airport works at all – said Adam Struzik, Marshal of the Masovian Voivodeship during the SOS debate for Modlin. The Modlin airport is to be seen by the authorities as unnecessary competition for the airport in Radom and the planned Central Communication Port in Baranów.

In turn, the president of Przedsiębiorstwo Państwowe “Porty Lotnicze”, Stanisław Wojtera, said at the June meeting with journalists that the condition for the existence of the Modlin airport is a change in the business model, as well as a change of the management board, which will carry out a deep restructuring. – In my opinion, based on conversations with the representatives of the Military Property Agency, our view of the company is very similar, which makes it possible to argue that the majority shareholders have the same view of the company, and the minority has a different view. And it is the minority that is currently blocking a number of actions that we have proposed, said Wojtera.

Modlin airportShutterstock

“Gazeta Stołeczna”, tvnwarszawa.pl, PAP

Main photo source: TVN archive



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