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Saturday 22.10.2016 | Name days: Irīda, Īrisa

aiBaltic will not have to pay back EUR 23 million to Riga airport

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULast year, Riga International Airport and airBaltic signed a peaceful resolution in regards to EUR 23 million. This means the airline will no longer have to pay back its debt to the airport. In return, airBaltic will withdraw its plea in regards to allegedly discriminating tariffs, as reported by De Facto programme.

The beginning of this conflict lies in 2004, when then then the Transport Minister Ainars Slesers invited Irish low-cost airline Ryanair to Riga airport. The airline was also offered more beneficial conditions than other airlines.

Both the airport and Ryanair signed this contract. However, airBaltic believed it would hurt competition and cause the national airline to lose passengers.

airBaltic stopped paying the airport shortly after the signing of this contract. In 2011, sides reached a EUR 10 million resolution and airBaltic wrote a pay-back schedule.

Nevertheless, the airline still refused to pay the airport. airBaltic would pay the security fee, but not the arrival and departure fees.

Both sides sued one another. Numbers are kept in secret. However, De Facto has unofficial information that the airport missed tens of million euros in unpaid payments from airBaltic. The airline, on the other hand, believed the airport owed it approximately EUR 50 million because of more beneficial terms provided to Ryanair.

The two sides have signed a peace agreement for EUR 23 million. A source told the programme that this deal can be interpreted as a write-off of airBaltic’s debt.

The airport does not comment this deal. airBaltic, on the other hand, is happy everything is over.

«It would be unproductive for two companies owned by the same owner to keep wasting money on legal services and court processes. It is good that we’ve managed to achieve a peaceful resolution,» – says airBaltic Corporate Communications Vice-President Janis Vanags.

The agreement was signed at the end of 2015. The government was informed of this at a closed meeting.

When asked whether or not this agreement will affect the airport’s development plans, considering airBaltic is no longer obligated to pay the money, Transport Ministry’s state secretary Kaspars Ozolins said the agreement is a deal signed between two sides. With that, it should be concluded that this deal was assessed in advance to avoid any potentially harmful consequences for the airline and the airport.


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