RIGA - Loftleidir Icelandic charter operator, which belongs to the Icelandair Group, has acquired a 55 percent stake in Latcharter Airlines for an undisclosed sum.
The Icelandic company plans to acquire the remaining shares in the future as well, Loftleidir Icelandic said in a statement to the press. The acquisition is a result of cooperation between the two companies earlier this year and is a part of Loftleidir Icelandic's strategy to strengthen its position in the Baltics and the CIS region, said the statement.
"Latcharter Airlines has built up a solid and positive reputation in the Baltic region and has close relations to the local charter market. Furthermore, the company has gained extensive knowledge of the CIS market, which we will undoubtedly benefit from in the near future, opening the window for our current product line," said managing director of Loftleidir Icelandic Sigthor Einarsson.
Latcharter Airlines representatives said the company teamed up with a strong strategic investor to facilitate its aggressive growth.
"Using the fleet of the new partner, Latcharter Airlines will enable Baltic tourists to travel directly to the resorts of Central America and the Indian Ocean region," said Latcharter Airlines head Jurijs Rubenciks.
The deal will complement Loftleidir Icelandic's current product line. Loftleidir Icelandic leased four Boeing 757-200 and two Boeing 767-300 aircrafts to customers in South and North America, Europe and in the Middle East.
In 2005, Latcharter Airlines generated 11.91 million lats (16.9 million euros) in sales, up 28.6 percent from 2004, and earned 614,800 lats, up 14 percent.
Last year Latcharter Airlines served 97,584 passengers and ranked third among other companies operating in Riga Airport by passengers with 5.2 percent of the market. The number of passengers served by the company grew 30 percent last year.
Latcharter Airlines provides charter flights to destinations in Europe, Asia and Africa. The company was founded in 1992 and its share capital is 300,000 lats. Latcharter Airlines is owned by several individuals.