RIGA -- The embattled CEO of airBaltic has resigned from his post amid a widening scandal concerning a massive government bailout for the country's national airline.
"The last few months have been very difficult for our company. For a long period of time, necessary decisions by the shareholders had not been taken, until the situation was resolved today. As an owner and for the sake of airBaltic, I have agreed to step down, as the agreement between the shareholders does so require, for the future of the airline," Flick said in a letter to the media.
We have developed from a small, expensive airline in 2002, to one of the leaders in innovation, and market leaders in Northern Europe. The environment is highly competitive, airBaltic therefore has to constantly adapt and improve... The economic crisis in the Baltics and the emigration from Latvia have left a deep mark on the airline market in the region. AirBaltic will have to reinvent itself again and it will succeed," he said.
Flick's resignation was a key demand for a government bailout. The Latvina government recently agreed to provide 150 million euros to the ailing airline.
The airline has cancelled nearly 1500 flights in coming months as its financial situation worsens. It had requested a 60 million lat bailout to continue operations. It is estimated to have lost around 95 million lats over the past few years, despite a steady growth in traffic.