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Wednesday 21.08.2019 | Name days: Linda, Janīna
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Antonov: 100 million lats enough to save airBaltic

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Latvijas Krajbanka owner Vladimir Antonov

An agreement to rescue the Latvian national airline airBaltic was reached mostly thanks to the fact that the state is its majority shareholder. Otherwise, it would hardly be possible, said Vladimir Antonov, Russian billionaire and the airline’s creditor Latvijas Krajbanka owner.

Talks were painful and lengthy, but thanks God, an agreement has been reached. For the most part, it is because the state is the biggest shareholder in the airline, he told in a press briefing on Monday evening.

According to him, the agreement is an important step for airBaltic to keep operating successfully. It will bring benefit not only to the state in general, but also to Riga as airBaltic base airport and Latvijas Krajbanka as the major creditor of the company, whose investments are now safe.

He added that airBaltic is currently settling all the payments according to the schedule and Latvijas Krajbanka has no objections for that matter.

Asked whether it will be enough with 100 million lats intended to save the airline, Antonov pointed out that the money is sufficient. Given the fact that it is going to be real funds to be injected, not, say, intellectual capital or something like that, it will be enough with theses funds.

According to Antonov, the agreement provides that from now on three persons will make up airBaltic board and the state will go on being the majority shareholder. While the council will consist of six members, with the state holding the majority as well. Asked whether specific board and council members are already known, he said that various candidacies were being discussed. All shareholders want a management model that would satisfy the state, the private shareholder and the creditors.

He denied Latvijas Krajbanka could purchase shares owned by its debtor Baltic Aviation Systems (BAS).

Antonov stressed that airBaltic fleet should keep modernizing, so that the airport could go on with its strategy and develop Riga as the regional base airport and service the transit passenger flow. airBaltic must not lose its competitiveness to Czech Airlines and Finnair also in future.

Similarly, he also denied that BAS had turned to Latvijas Krajbanka for funds to establish a new airline in Lithuania.

The news portal BNN reminds that Antonov has been in two minds whether airBaltic should be sold. He had announced previously that the company should not be sold, however, according to unofficial sources, after a secret meeting with Aivars Lembergs and his son Anrijs, he repeatedly pointed at the necessity to pass on the company in the hands of the private shareholder.

BNN already reported, the government approved at an emergency meeting the Transport Ministry’s prepared agreement on airBaltic‘s future funding and management. By signing the agreement, the state is securing effective control over the company, informs the Transport Ministry.

The agreement was signed between the Republic of Latvia, in the person of the Transport Minister, SIA Baltic Aviation Systems (BAS), AS Latvijas Krājbanka, AB Bank Snoras, AKB Investbank, Taurus Asset Management Fund Limited, Transatlantic Holdings Company S.A. and SIA KD Jet.


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  1. Darvin says:

    At last, someone comes up with the “right” ansewr!

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