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Ceturtdiena 17.08.2017 | Name days: Oļegs, Vineta

airBaltic shareholders meeting disapproves new Board

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National airline AS Air Baltic Corporation (airBaltic) shareholders in a meeting on August 31th decided to postpone the election of the new Board, the company informed the business portal Nozare.lv.

airBaltic 2009 annual report was approved at the shareholders meeting.

Ministry of Transport (MT) informs that the annual report was approved after lengthy discussions, and it was also noted in the protocol that the new Board will evaluate the issue of airBaltic brand sale.

MT emphasizes that the new Board was not elected, because the other airBaltic shareholder, the company Baltijas aviācijas sistēmas, had not named candidates for the airline Board. In the protocol of the meeting it is written that the airBaltic Board could be elected next week, however an exact date was not mentioned.

The Transport Ministry as its candidates had proposed the former president of Māras banka President Niks Bulmanis, Latvijas Valsts radio un televīzijas centrs Board Member Gints Kirsteins (Gints Kiršteins), who according to LETA archives, has built its career in Latvenergo, in ten years time from computer systems analyst becoming Contents Business director. After that Kirsteins worked as information technology and technical consultant and project manager in SIA C-3PO.

MT explains that they have proposed Kirsteins as the member of the Board, because with the help of Latvian State Radio and TV center, the state of Latvia purchased airBaltic bonds for 15.8 million lats. Thus completing the airline’s stock capital increase for 30 million lats in total.

Riga International Airport council member Uldis Martinsons (Jaunais Laiks) was also proposed as a possible candidate of airBaltic Board. Previously he was accused of interest conflict by the newspaper Neatkarīgā, because of combining the post of airport Riga member of the Board with two airway companies SIA Griffin Marine Travel and SIA Corsair management. Martinsons then owned correspondingly 41% and 95% of the shares.

While the Board is not elected, the company will not deal with the issues that are in the competence of the Board, explained MT, but the fact that the Board elections are postponed will not affect the airline’s business.

As it has already been announced, the meeting of airBaltic shareholders took place on August 31th, where initially it was planned to approve the new Board, company’s annual report and revenue expenditures, Nozare.lv was informed by MT.

The Minister for Transport Kaspars Gerhards (TB/LNNK) previously explained that with the new company’s Board approval surveillance and transparency will be ensured more effectively.

As it has already been reported, last year December airBaltic sold its brand and five trademarks related to it to the President of airBaltic Bertolt Flick’s company SIA Baltijas aviācijas sistēmas, which controls 47.2% of airBaltic. At the same time the trademarks airBaltic.com, airBaltic Travel.com, airBaltic Hotels, Baltic Miles un Baltic Taxi were also sold.

According to the audited annual report 2009, a certified valuation company well recognized in the industry set the value of the company’s trademarks – 13 million eiro or 9.136 million lats.

In accordance with the sales contract, payments for the purchase of the trademarks had to be made until 31 December 2010.

The deal became public in early August, causing outrage of several top state officials and the public, as it was indicated that this way the value of the company would decrease significantly. Gerhards originally told that he did not have any information about the deal, so the responsibility should be claimed from the company’s Board.

The representatives of the state were called off of the Board indicating that stockholders meeting will be convened soon to elect a new Board, whose first task would be to regain the trademark of airBaltic.

Later, both Gerhards and Flick declared the scandal surrounding the sale of the airline brand as overexaggerated due to the problems in communication among the existing shareholders.

Passenger and cargo air transportation services provider, airline airBaltic was founded in 1995. Its main shareholders are the Latvian state with 52.6% of the shares and SIA Baltijas aviācijas sistēmas owned by the airline’s head Bertolt Flick with 47.2% of the shares.

The airline provides direct flights from two Baltic capitals – Riga and Vilnius, and it also offers direct flights between Kaliningrad and Copenhagen.

airBaltic fleet consists of 28 aircraft – two Boeing 757-200, ten Boeing 737-500, six Boeing 737-300 and ten Fokker 50 aircraft.


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