Reform begin in earnest at "Fly LAL"

  • 2005-09-21
  • Staff and wire reports
VILNIUS - The new owners at Lietuvos Avialinijos (Lithuanian Airlines) have wasted no time in revamping the former state-owned carrier and have spun off several subsidiaries and renamed the company Fly LAL.

Lithuanian media have reported that, in addition to the name-change, the carrier also plans to change its logo. This week the recently privatized carrier announced that it has spun off its ground service department and planned to do the same with its ticket sales unit next month.

LAL Investiciju Valdymas (LAL Investment Management), which holds a 100 percent stake in the airline, will be the sole owner of both Baltic Ground Service and Ticket Distribution Center.

Also, two separate departments - marketing and sales - have been created within the company, while a technical department, renamed LAL Technics, continues to operate within the company, LAL officials said in a news conference last week.

Fly LAL announced last week that it handled 384,400 passengers in the first eight months of 2005, a surge of 33.4 percent year-on-year. What's more, the company carried 64,500 passengers on its 322 charter flights in the January-to-August period.

LAL executives said they were targeting a one-third rise in passenger flow this year from the 442,300 passengers handled last year.

Fima, an IT firm, owns a 67 percent stake in LAL Investiciju Valdymas, while the legal services firm ZIA Valda and construction company Garantas each hold 16.5 percent.

LAL Investiciju Valdymas bought the state's 100 percent stake in LAL for 25.5 million litas (7.4 million euros) in August. The new owners intend to invest up to 28 million litas in the air carrier over a period of two years, of which 10 million litas should be invested by the end of this year.