Should Nordic airports be worried about airBaltic?

The over-expanded Latvian airline filed for bankruptcy protection this week

Should the 62 airports served by airBaltic, most of them in northern Europe, be concerned after the airline filed for bankruptcy protection this week? The airline over-expanded using a unique hub-and-spoke system, mostly linking airports in the EU with those in Russia and the CIS, and carried 31% more passengers in the seven first months of 2011 than it did in the same period two years ago.
What happens next is a political puzzle for Latvia’s new coalition government following snap elections held last week. It is likely that the Latvian state, which owns 52% of the airline, will be forced to continue to bail it out since, on a Latvian scale, it is too big to fail. Some kind of deal will probably have to be made between the government and the most active shareholder Baltijas Aviacijas Sistemas (BAS, or Baltic Aviation System), known to be controlled by Vladimir Antonov, a Russian billionaire and London-based banker, and his Convers Group. As Antonov commented to a Latvian business daily earlier in the summer: “All I can say is: Rest assured, you may safely buy tickets and fly airBaltic. I know for certain that the operations of airBaltic will not come to a halt.”


Check Also

codeshare, agreement, deal, codes, via, fly, flights, travel, TAP, airBaltic, Portugal, Latvia, America, South, Brazil, Africa, connections, Lisbon, Riga, Latvia, Baltics, Vilnius, Tallinn

airBaltic and TAP reveal codeshare

The new agreement announced today will give Baltic passengers better access to other continents.

airBaltic, order, Bombardier, CS300, aircraft, type, planes, plans, Baltic, Tallinn, Vilnius, Riga, routes

airBaltic to be C Series-only fleet with major order

The Latvian airline plots a “significant breakthrough of development” with an order for up to 60 more CS300s.

airBaltic, player, Latvia, Bombardier, plane, CS300, aircraft, play, tennis, Facebook, marketing, airline, Ostapenko

Tennis champ plays vs. new aircraft

A video of a staged match between the world number five player and a plane goes viral.

airBaltic, World Cup, Russia, Sochi, Riga, Latvia, route, flights, summer, Black Sea, resort, Scandinavia

airBaltic launches to Sochi with football cake

Russia’s beach resort of Sochi on the Black Sea coast is one of the host cities of the World Cup.

airBaltic, Riga, Latvia, revenue, profit, income, record, 2017, workforce, load factor, capacity, CS300

airBaltic posts best-ever operational results

Operating earnings are “significantly increased” from €3.4 million to €20.2 million.

airBaltic, Baltic, airline, Latvia, Riga, atw, award, Norwegian, passengers, 2018, growth, load factor, punctuality

airBaltic: 23% growth, wins ‘airline leader’ award

The Latvian carrier sees record passenger numbers, though its load factor remains low.