airBaltic woes deepen

  • 2011-06-28
  • TBT Staff

RIGA -- Latvia's national airline airBaltic has had its ticket sales suspended by one of the country's leading online ticket companies,

The decision by Interneto Partneris, which owns, came as government officials indicate that the company may be on the verge of bankruptcy.

BNN quoted Interneto Partneris director Audrius Ramanauskas as saying that the suspension was a direct result of airBaltic's reported financial difficulties.

"After hearing about airBaltic’s financial problems and potential bankruptcy in mass media, we have decided to temporarily suspend the airline’s ticket sales to protect our customers from potential losses. Consequently, we advise our clients to choose other airlines."

The news comes as Transport Minister Uldis Augulis, who had previously expressed concerns about the amount of money the government was pumping into the company, said in a radio interview that the airline had lost around 13 million lats in the first quarter of the year.

Earlier this month, Economy Minister Artis Kampars said the company was is bad shape and nearing bankruptcy.

"Last year Latvian government invested more than LVL 15 million into the company to make sure that "airBaltic" can buy new planes on lease and continue development. "airBaltic" head and co-owner Bertolt Flick was showing the government his business plan that was promising a large profit this year and in 2012 - instead, the company is losing enormous money," said Kampars in a radio interview.

"This makes me think that what we are seeing is a premeditated attempt to pump out funds from the company," said Kampars.

airBaltic accussed the minister of making harmful comments and called for his resignation. The airline also claims that it imposed the flysiesta ticket ban on its own.