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Sunday 18.03.2018 | Name days: Ilona, Adelīna

Transport Minister: airBaltic lost 13 million lats in five months

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

The Transport Minister Uldis Augulis

Over the five months of 2011, the Latvian airline airBaltic‘s losses amounted to 13 million lats, points out Uldis Augulis, the Latvian Transport Minister.

During the first quarter, the airline made a loss of 18 million lats, while generating a profit of five million lats in April and May. The three months of 2011 were difficult for the entire aviation industry worldwide, with most airlines suffering losses, not only airBaltic, Augulis indicates in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

There are no signs of insolvency and the company is expected to gain profit in the summer months, offsetting the losses at the beginning of the year. Airlines’ «harvest time» continues until September, October, although it can be hindered by several politicians’ statements causing damage to the airline, the Transport Minister notes.

At the same time, Augulis says the audit did not confirm the assumptions expressed by certain politicians, claiming that airBaltic’s funds went to offshores or other companies.

Although during the audit no violations were found in the actions of the company’s management, Augulis believes that the shareholders’ meeting should review airBaltic executives’ salaries, as this was not done previously. Shareholders should assess Bertolt Flick’s actions in the airline’s head post, as well as determine whether these responsibilities can be fulfilled by another manager.

Shareholders – the state and Baltic Aviation Systems – should ensure airBaltic’s liquidity. According to Augulis, this should be done by issuing additional shares and attracting new investors, while maintaining the state’s participation in the company. Currently, it would be unprofitable to sell the state-owned shares in the airline, as the revenues would be insufficient, according to the audit.

The concluded shareholders’ agreement in 2009 is not beneficial to the state. Also, the other shareholder was notified about introducing possible changes in the shareholders’ agreement, after carrying out the audit and shareholders’ meeting.

The Transport Minister repeatedly emphasizes the key is that airBaltic keeps operating, since 3 000 people are employed in the company and areas related to it. The airline also offers flights to many destinations around the world, as well as attracts tourists to Latvia.

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