Airline merger talk increases

  • 2012-09-05
  • From wire reports

RIGA - “The idea of creating a pan-Baltic airline is fine, on the one hand, but it is very unlikely that Estonia and Lithuania would be prepared to accept a smaller number of shares in the project than Latvia,” Saeima Economic, Agrarian, Environmental and Regional Policy Committee Chairman Vjaceslavs Dombrovskis (Reform Party) said to LETA.
The Riga Airport is “much more developed” than the airports in Lithuania and Estonia. Therefore, it would be rational if - in case a joint airline is established - Latvia received a larger number of shares. But usually parties in a joint venture hope to have an equal number, which in this case would not reflect the amount of investments made, noted Dombrovskis.

Dombrovskis said he did not know whether the other two Baltic countries would be prepared to accept secondary roles in the project. Also, discussing the idea at the parliamentary level might not be very effective; therefore, the talks should be conducted by the three countries’ respective ministries. If Lithuania has anything to propose, Latvia will hear such proposals, added Dombrovskis.
The Lithuanian Transport Ministry said recently that it was preparing to propose in the near future that the three Baltic countries establish a joint airline.

Several weeks ago the Estonian business newspaper Aripaev wrote that a merger between Estonian Air and Latvia’s airBaltic should be given serious consideration.