Bulgaria’s State-owned Plovdiv Airport Faces Bankruptcy, CEO Resigns

Business | February 18, 2015, Wednesday // 12:06|  views

Plovdiv Airport, photo by BGNES

State-owned company Plovdiv Airport faces bankruptcy and is unable to pay the salaries and social security contributions of its 154 workers, according to Ivan Karnabitov, outgoing Executive Director of the company.

Karnabitov, who resigned on Monday, announced that he failed to see a solution for the problems of the ailing company.
He informed Tuesday that it was a matter of time before the creditors of Plovdiv Airport initiated lawsuits over the unpaid sum of over BGN 1 M for 2014 plus a total of BGN 360 000 accumulated since 2011, according to reports of Capital Daily.

Speaking at a press conference in Plovdiv, he made clear that the biggest creditor of Plovdiv Airport was power distributor EVN, while the main debtor was the Transport Ministry, which was also the principal of the state-owned company.

Karnabitov declared that the Transport Ministry had downsized monthly payments to Plovdiv Airport from BGN 220 000 to BGN 170 000 in 2014, ceasing to transfer payments altogether over the past six months.

He noted that the 154 workers of the company had only been paid a part of the January salary amounting to BGN 200.

The outgoing Executive Director of the company recommended cutting the working hours and the staff of Plovdiv Airport by 30% as an urgent crisis exit strategy.

He stated that the working hours of Plovdiv Airport could be reduced from the current rate of 24 hours a day to the period 6 am – 10 pm, adding that the measure had been proposed to the Transport Ministry.

Karnabitov clarified that the revenues from the operating activity of Plovdiv Airport EAD in 2014 amounted to around BGN 4 M, while the expenses stood at BGN 5.2 M, following a 1.23% decrease in costs.

He said that the own commercial revenues of the company had increased by 65.74% since 2013.

The outgoing Executive Director of Plovdiv Airport pointed out that the company had registered commercial revenues of slightly over BGN 1 M in 2014 in absolute terms, compared to a rate of BGN 648 000 in 2013.

He argued that the increase in revenues had not helped the company emerge from the difficult situation as it was plagued by an insufficient number of passengers and flights.

He specified that Plovdiv Airport had processed 103 535 passengers in 2014, adding that there was no airport in the world that could be efficient with a passenger flow of around 100 000 a year.

Karnabitov underscored that it was up to the Transport Ministry to make a decision on the future of Plovdiv Airport, one of the options being a concession deal.

Meanwhile, Iliyan Tsenov from the Podkrepa Labor Confederation told the Bulgarian National Radio that he was not very optimistic about the upcoming meeting of the management of Plovdiv Airport with representatives of the Transport Ministry.

He informed that the trade union had requested an explanation in writing from the management of the state-owned company about the reasons behind the failure to pay salaries to its employees.

Tsenov said that the trade union had asked the company to specify a deadline for the payment of the salaries in full.
He also called for urgent cost-cutting measures at Plovdiv Airport.

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Tags: Plovdiv airport, Transport Ministry, bankruptcy, Podkrepa Labor Confederation, unpaid salaries, trade union, staff cuts


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