Estonian Air has signed an agreement with GECAS, one of the two biggest aircraft leasing companies in the world, to lease a fifth Boeing 737-500 for three years. The airline, which leases three of its Boeings from the other major leasing company, ILFC, will incorporate the plane built in 1998 and previously operated by Air France into is fleet. Estonian Air has said that its initial plans for using the plane do not involve adding new destinations in its current network or increasing frequency on existing routes.
Lithuania's top retail clothing chain Apranga had reason to celebrate 2003. Total sales last year, including sales in Latvia, grew by 26.3 percent to 94.8 million litas (27.5 million euros). CFO Andrius Jovaisa attributed the surge in sales to intensive development in Latvia and Lithuania along with a rise in purchasing power in those countries. The chain plans on opening at least 10 new outlets and has earmarked over 10 million litas to invest in expanding in these two Baltic states.
The business model used by the Estonian Saastumarket discount chain will be put to the test by Finland's Kesko group to improve the competitiveness of its K-Alliance chain. Kesko Foods currently operates 50 K-Citymarkets, 350 K-Markets, 380 K-Extra and 40 K-Pikkolo stores in Finland. As part of the pilot project to test the Saastumarket model, discount stores will open this spring in various Finnish towns and cities.
On Dec. 30 the Estonian car safety equipment manufacturer Norma signed a contract for the sale of shares in its subsidiary AS Eksamo Automaatika (Eksamo Automatics), which specializes in productions installations repairs. The shares of Eksamo Automaatika reported by Norma ended up in the hands of the company's CEO, according to Urmas Rand, the commercial register. The sum total of the deal constitutes less than 1 percent of the Norma group's equity.
TeliaSonera and Tele2, both leading Swedish telecommunication companies, announced in December that they have agreed to buy the Scandinavian country's fourth UMTS, or so-called third-generation, telephone license from the U.K.-based mobile phone operator Orange. Though the two Swedish companies already jointly own Svenska UMTS-naet, which already holds a third-generation license, they have decided to purchase extra capacity in anticipation of greater consumer demand. TeliaSonera Sweden CEO Marie Ehrling said that mobile Internet and e-mail use were expected to be a hit with customers.