Gauss: airBaltic has not bought luxury vehicles

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Electric vehicles leased by the Latvian national airline airBaltic are not qualified as luxury vehicles, the company's executive director, Martin Gauss, said at a press conference on Thursday, March 30.

An entry published last week on social networks showing the parking lot of the Latvian national airline airBaltic with the Audi E-tron electrical cars raised some eyebrows. In total, the airline has taken 12 electric vehicles in leasing. Transport Minister Jānis Vitenbergs (National Alliance) requested an explanation from the company.

The price of one of the specific models on the dealer's home page is around EUR 87,000. It is the price that has raised questions about the rationale for choosing this car.

"We haven't done anything wrong. The value of the car that the company will pay over three years is slightly over €19,000. The car isn't qualified as a luxury-class car, and this is a standard operating car leasing offer. We have sent all the necessary information to the Ministry of Transport, which was already familiar with this situation," Gauss said.

The company said the favorable price is a sale offered by the factory, which includes a discount of about 26% on standard pricing while expecting a high repurchase value.

As a result of this offer, the monthly payment for the rental of one electric car is relatively small, i.e. EUR 414 without VAT, which has made the offer the most economically viable. In total, the company pays EUR 4,968 per month for 12 electric car rentals, said Gauss.

The Ministry for Transport, which is also the national shareholder of airBaltic, indicated that it is currently necessary to familiarize itself with the company's explanations in order to be able to respond appropriately to the situation.

“The Ministry has sent a letter to the airBaltic Council to ask for explanations and the reply must be given by the middle of next week. Of course, in our reply, we want to see the reasoning and logic of the management bodies of the airline why it was brought to this decision. Whether all aspects – financial, technical and other – are the best and most necessary for the airline,” Dins Merirands, deputy State Secretary of the Ministry, said.


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