airBaltic will 'inevitably' need additional support from State

National airline airBaltic Chief Executive Martins Gauss said that in the coming months the airline will inevitably have to turn to the State for additional support, Latvian Radio reported February 16.

Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits confirmed to Latvian Radio that the government will be ready to help airBaltic when the airline turns to them for support.

“The government is aware of the serious, systemic nature of airBaltic and also of aviation in general to ensure Latvia's connectivity. And this is what we acknowledge every time we decide on any restrictions on movements between countries. And I think, of course, that the government will consider this possibility, because we see that the situation did not improve in aviation,” Linkaits said.

He said that in passenger transport “communications between countries are still at the lowest level”. In addition, some restrictions have been introduced in Latvia, which are not present in other countries, and which will further limit the aviation sector.

The Minister also said that more than 1,100 people are still working on the airline. Without these employees, it will not be possible to re-establish airBaltic's activities when the epidemiological situation normalizes.

Compared to other years, airBaltic's flight numbers decreased by 86%, Linkaits said. The politician expressed hope that at the end of spring or early summer, the Covid-19 situation would allow flights to resume.

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