Many countries around the world are trying to protect and financially support their aviation, aware of their economic impact. Martins Gauss, head of airBaltic, told Latvian Radio that the company has a large part in Latvian economy and airBaltic could pay more than EUR 231 million in taxes over the next five years.
Gauss pointed out that this is a global crisis that has affected the aviation sector differently than previous crises. It has caused 25000 airplanes to idle for a month and a half, and at the moment nobody knows when the global aviation industry will recover.
Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) said that funding for airBaltic was distributed by the Ministry of Finance. It is not the only aviation company receiving state aid in the crisis. EUR 6 million have already been invested in the equity capital of Latvian Air Traffic, as well as EUR 54 million aid has been granted to Riga International Airport.
Meanwhile, in a statement to the media, the Ministry of Transport said that Linkaits visited the Riga International Airport on Wednesday, May 13, making sure that its infrastructure and procedures were adapted to the COVID-19 circumstances.
Resuming regular passenger flights, the airport proposes a mandatory requirement for face mask or cover use while at the airport terminal. Arriving passengers should be provided with the possibility to carry out a health check.
The airport, in cooperation with airBaltic, is prepared to provide thermal cameras and personnel for taking the temperature of departing and arriving passengers.