RIGA — Following claims that airBaltic CEO Bertolt Flick bought the branding rights to the airline without the knowledge of the government, Flick has responded that he talked with the minister of transport at least three times about the matter.
Flick’s company Baltijas Aviācijas Sistēmas bought the branding rights to the airline for €13 million in December last year when the company needed cash. Baltijas Aviācijas Sistēmas also owns 47 percent of airBaltic, with the government holding the majority stake.
Flick said that transport minister Kaspars Gerhards’ comments were not only false, but that they distorted the situation.
“The brand has no property … because the brand without airBaltic has no value. The deal was more or less accounting solution, of course,” Flick said.
He also said that eventually the branding rights should be returned to the company, when airBaltic has enough cash.
“Since I came into office, the company value has increased 15 times. Next year, airBaltic will be the largest airline in Central Europe. I think that there is no doubt that we have worked extremely well,” Flick said, burnishing his credentials as head of the company.
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