On Tuesday, September 13, the Cabinet of Ministers heard the report by the Ministry of Transport and the financial consultant Prudentia on the progress made in negotiations with the private shareholder of airBaltic – “Baltijas Aviācijas sistēmas” (BAS) since the government sitting of September 6 as well as on the whole situation in company airBaltic.
At the press conference after the government sitting, Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis informed that the government is keen to engage in stabilization of the financial situation of airBaltic and preservation of the national air operator, which creates substantial advantages for Latvia in the area of logistics and tourist attraction and is a significant employer.
The Head of the Government stressed that: “Taking into account the developments in the situation regarding airBaltic, the government also considers other forms of public participation, because it is important to maintain Latvia’s position in the aviation sector and further develop the Riga Airoport as a regional air traffic centre. Therefore the Ministry of Transport and consultant were given a task to work on scenarios for the government’s participation and solutions to other issues by September 20 and to submit them to the government for consideration.” V.Dombrovskis noted that the government funding is allocated by carefully assessing the most advantageous solutions for the state and making sure about the financial profitability and validity of investments.
Minister for Transport Uldis Augulis informed the media about the accomplishments made since the government sitting of September 6 and acknowledged that the consultant has not achieved a substantial progress in negotiations with the BAS on the solutions regarding airBaltic.
The governments calls on the BAS to immediately fulfil the conditions imposed by the government, to refrain from linking the financial situation of airBaltic with the pre-election campaign as well as to responsibly ensure future stability of the company, including, uninterruptedness of flights.
As previously reported, on August 23, the government made a conceptual decision to participate in the stabilization of the financial situation of airBaltic by imposing a set of conditions. The financial consultant Prudentia was given a task to agree with the BAS on changing the management of airBaltic, on the amendments to the company statutes as well as on changes to the shareholders’ agreement, ensuring that the shareholders’ relations shall be regulated by the provisions of the Commercial Law as well as on the preservation of Riga Airport as a base airport of airBaltic.
If these conditions were met, the government expressed its readiness to consider the following scenarios – to take over the BAS owned shares of airBaltic or together with the private shareholder to proportionally increase the fixed capital of the air operator.
The state of Latvia as a majority shareholder owns 52.6% shares of the air operator airBaltic while the private shareholder “Baltijas Aviācijas sistēmas” owns 47.2%. The government of Latvia has attracted the financial consultant Prudentia to assess the financial situation of airBaltic and to decide on future activities of the air operator.
Audio file of the press conference: http://t.co/uZoN3YK
Press Secretary to the Prime Minister