LV: airBaltic passenger turnover up by 18% y/y in Jan-Nov.

By bne IntelliNews December 14, 2010
According to the announcement made by company representatives, airBaltic airline transported a total of 3mn passengers in the first eleven months of 2010, which made a 18% y/y increase. In November alone, passenger turnover decreased by 23% y/y to 0.2mn people after rather weak growth of the indicator of 7% y/y in the previous month. Company attributed the worsening passenger turnover to delays in delivery and technical problems of new Bombardier Q400 NextGen jets. Last year company's passenger turnover amounted to 2.76mn passengers, which made about a 6% y/y increase. 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, government pressured airBaltics CEO and co-owner Bertold Flik to openly publish the controversial airBaltics board agreement in the local media. To remind, at the end of September 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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