Posted on: 04 October 2011 by Ross McSweeny
The main shareholders of airBaltic – the Latvian government and Baltic Aviation Systems (BAS) – have agreed to inject €153 million in new capital into the airline, with the government share being €81.9 million (LVL 57.6m) and BAS securing €71.1 million (LVL 50m).
As part of the investment deal, president and CEO of airBaltic Bertolt Flick has relinquished his position. “As an owner and for the sake of airBaltic, I have agreed to step down, as the agreement between the shareholders does so require, for the future of the airline,” he commented.
“airBaltic has been my ‘child’,” added Flick. “In 2002, I became the CEO and over the last almost 10 years, I have mainly built up an excellent management team and together we have created an excellent and award-winning company.
“airBaltic contributes about €250 million to the Latvian economy annually, the largest exporter of services and the major carrier at Riga Airport, and by far the leading carrier in the Baltic region. Over 4,000 workplaces are related to airBaltic operations in Riga. The economic crisis in the Baltics and the emigration from Latvia have left a deep mark on the airline market in the region. airBaltic will have to reinvent itself again and it will succeed,” he concluded.