VIA checks Skylink compensation claims chances

The company running Vienna International Airport (VIA) may launch legal action against firms hired to build a controversial new terminal, it has emerged.Flughafen AG said today (Thurs) it was negotiating with its legal team over whether to call for compensation from companies hired to build Skylink, a terminal that was set to open in 2008. Work was halted for around half a year recently after it emerged that costs might soar beyond twice the amount of the initially announced 450 million Euros.Several offices and homes of businessmen have been raided by investigators in connection to the potential scandal, considered as the one of the biggest Austrian post-war scams by some business writers – regardless of the Audit Office’s (RH) findings.RH said earlier this week that presentation of its Skylink investigative report would not be presented before next month – an announcement causing some irritation among political leaders in Vienna since residents of the capital will head to the polls on 10 October. The city of Vienna and the Lower Austrian government both hold a 20 per cent stake in Flughafen Wien AG.Flughafen Wien AG supervisory board chief Christoph Herbst said earlier this month that he had been assured costs would not surpass 830 million Euros, adding that Skylink was set to open in 2012.Flughafen Wien AG announced today it expected a six per cent year on year increase of passenger numbers at VIA in 2010 after predicting a three per cent improvement earlier this year.VIA registered 8.9 million passengers in the first half of this year, up by 5.5 per cent compared to the same time span of 2009.Flughafen Wien AG’s net profit soared year on year by 11.6 per cent in the first half of 2010.