CEO of airBaltic Martin Gauss says that while Latvia decided to boost the airline's share capital by €250 million because it believes it can restore profitability, the Estonian government has failed to even answer the company's request for aid, even though airBaltic has contributed greatly to the Estonian economy.
"AirBaltic made an operating profit of €124 million last year at a turnover of €519 million, even though accounting rules meant we had to close with a slight net loss. We are a profitable company that contributed over a billion euros to the Latvian and Baltic economies. Our shareholder has decided to place €250 million in the airline to help us recover, and while that could have been achieved with the help of a loan, the latter are expensive. The [Latvian] state made a future-oriented decision to support a profitable company that has suffered because of the virus," Gauss says in an interview to Ärileht. (Link in Estonian)
"We did not receive aid from the Estonian or Lithuanian governments, even though we have contributed toward their economies," the CEO adds.
Gauss says that airBaltic wrote to the governments of both countries to ask whether they would be willing to support the airline in principle, but reveived no reply.
He adds that airBaltic is looking to quickly restore its position as the largest airline in Estonia.
Editor: Marcus Turovski