RIGA - A general meeting of the Latvian national airline airBaltic has been called for Aug. 30, when the airline’s annual report will be put up for approval, reports Nozare.lv. The public will also be informed this week as to how the airBaltic brand is to be returned to the airline, said Transport Minister Kaspars Gerhards in an interview.
“I think that we will come forward with a solution in the next few days for returning the airBaltic brand,” indicated the minister, adding that he and airBaltic President Bertolt Flick had “evaluated several possible courses of action, and I think that in the nearest future the exact solution will become clear.”
The minister refrained from predicting whether months, or even years, would be necessary before the brand was returned; however, he indicated that first of all, it would be necessary to assess all financial and legal aspects.
“At present we are working very seriously on all these aspects, so that we can answer all these questions in the nearest future,” stressed Gerhards. Asked what candidates the Transport Ministry was preparing to forward to the new airBaltic council, which would also evaluate the decisions made by the present council, Gerhards explained that he had his view of the people who could do a good job on the council, and had already spoken to them about the possibility; however, the minister did not mention specific names.
Gerhards also explained that serious work was being done so that in the future, more effective communication would take place between the members of the council and the ministry.
The latest uproar surrounding Flick is the result of a deal from last December in which airBaltic Corporation sold the airBaltic brand and all related trademarks to Baltijas aviacijas sistemas, a company owned by Flick, for 13 million euros. The deal meant that airBaltic would have to pay Baltijas aviacijas sistemas more than 1 million lats (1.4 million euros) a year for access to its own airBaltic brand.
The strong public outcry over the deal forced Flick and government officials to agree to reverse the arrangement. AirBaltic’s council had not even discussed, at the time of the decision, the amount of payments that would be required for using its brand.