Airbaltic national airline plans at least four commercial flights to New York per week in the future, reported Transport Minister Ainars Slesers. It is not yet clear when the route will begin. Slesers estimates that flights may begin at the beginning of 2009, depending on the overall situation in the global markets. The US is lifting the visa regime with Latvia as of November 17. Uzbekistan Airlines has been serving the Tashkent-Riga-New York route for four years. Airbaltic, established in 1995, is owned by the Latvian state (52.6 pct) and Scandinavia's SAS airline (47.2 pct).
Juris Jakobsons, Baltic CEO of UniCredit Bank since 2005, has decided to resign. Ralf Cymanek has been appointed the bank's new CEO in the Baltic states. The bank's PR specialist said Cymanek would become chairman of the bank's board as soon as the financial surpervisor approves his appointment. In late September, Latvia's UniCredit Bank ranked 15th among Latvia's 26 banks by assets. UniCredit Bank is a member of the UniCredit Group, whose total assets exceed 1,060 billion euros, ranking it among the largest financial groups in Europe. The UniCredit Group operates in 22 countries with over 40 million clients, about 10,000 branch-offices and 180,000 employees.