President and CEO flees to safety of home country Germany
It has been reported that the Latvian government could make a fresh capital injection into the heavily loss-making national airline airBaltic – but only on condition that its president and CEO Bertolt Flick resigns. The Latvian state and a company owned by Flick are the airline’s joint owners, holding 52.6% and 47.2% stakes, respectively. Besides the airline’s financial difficulties, both sides have also been embroiled in a long-running dispute over the expansion of airBaltic’s main hub Riga International Airport. airBaltic had recently been expanding aggressively in Finland.
Flick has been running the airline from an office in Berlin since a raid on the airline’s offices by Latvia’s corruption authorities earlier this year. According to media reports, the carrier suffered a loss of almost €50 million last year. However, a 2010 financial report has not been released. A decision about the capital injection may be postponed until parliamentary elections are held in Latvia next week.
[pictured: Bombardier Q400 NextGen; photo courtesy airBaltic]