LV: airBaltic passenger turnover up by 16% y/y in 2010.

By bne IntelliNews January 18, 2011
According to the announcement made by company representatives, airBaltic airline transported a total of 3.25mn passengers in 2010, which made a 16% y/y increase. In December alone, passenger turnover increased by 4% y/y to 0.21mn people, being a third month in a row of rather low passenger turnover, which was attributed to unfavourable weather conditions. In 2010 carrier operated 56,098 flights, up by 22% y/y. To remind, the company is in the conflict with the Riga Airport and the government for the past several months. The airport and the airline are in an ongoing conflict over LVL 5mn debt of airBaltic to RIX and airBaltic claiming LVL 7mn from RIX in damages due to unfair tariffs policy that the airport allegedly used. Two companies were close to signing a memorandum settling the conflict, but failed to do so. At the meantime, in fall 2010 government pressured airBaltics CEO and co-owner Bertold Flik to openly publish the controversial airBaltics board agreement in the local media. At the end of September 2010 PM Dombrovskis demanded that State Prosecutors Office reviews the agreement on running airBaltic board between BAS and the government, which was signed by ex-Communication Minister Ainars Slesers during his last week in office and sufficiently limits governments influence on BAS. PM stressed that it wasnt approved by the parliament, neither by the cabinet. However, in the past two month the issue got little media attention due to parliamentary elections. Baltijas Aviacijas Sistemas (BAS) controlled by airBaltic CEO Bertold Flik owns 47.2% of airBaltic shares, the rest owned by the state.

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