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airBaltic complains of unfair treatment at Riga Airport

airBaltic has filed a complaint with the Competition Council and a lodged a claim with the court demanding LVL6 million (more than €9 million) from Riga Airport in damages, claiming that Ryanair is given preferential treatment at the airport and pays only half of the price per passenger serviced compared to airBaltic.

Bertolt Flick, president and CEO of airBaltic, explained, “Our previous assumption was that Riga Airport charged airBaltic more than double the fees that Ryanair was paying per passenger serviced. According to leaked documents, it appears that Ryanair was paying only €1 per aircraft serviced at Riga airport, while airBaltic was charged up to €500. It is unacceptable that a foreign carrier has and still receives preferential treatment paying hundreds of times lower fees than airBaltic. Moreover, in early 2010, Riga airport doubled the ground handling fees to airBaltic, increased transit passenger fees, landing fees and introduced a completely new infrastructure fee. We decided to suspend our payments to Riga Airport and demanded the situation be resolved.

“We have also proposed to Riga Airport that in the future airBaltic makes pre-payments for services received,” Flick added. “airBaltic urges that in the meantime independent auditors conduct an objective analysis of the tariffs and charges at Riga Airport. airBaltic is not prepared to cover 90% of the costs of Riga Airport.”

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