AirBaltic Announces Encouraging 6 Month Results

Latvia’s national airline airBaltic has released statistics on its performance for the first six months of the year 2000. The figures show increases in passenger numbers and in the share of passengers using Riga International Airport.

Commenting on the figures, airBaltic President Kristian Kirchheiner said “We are very pleased with these figures, as they show that the strategic decisions we took one year ago were the correct ones. 1999 was a tough year for us, and many companies in this region, because of the Russian financial crisis. After years of steady growth, passenger numbers stood still, and we were forced to look closely at our business plans. We took some tough decisions to cut the number of destinations we flew to, and to concentrate on profitable routes, where we increased the number of frequencies. The fact that we have increased passenger figures and turnover while slightly reducing the number of flights proves we were right, and now airBaltic is well-placed to develop in the future”.

Added Kirchheiner “These results reflect the stabilisation of the Latvian economy, and the return to economic growth for the entire Baltic region. We were helped by the EBRD Conference being held in Riga in May, but this event was a forerunner of future events which will see Riga continue to develop as a regional centre.”

Highlights from the 6 months results:

* The number of passengers flying on airBaltic increased by 14.0% to 105,733


* The year 2000 should see airBaltic attain passenger figures of more than 200,000 for the first time in our 5 year history.

* Turnover increased by 12.2% to LVL12.4 million.

* Number of flights carried out reduced by 3.5% to 4,032, but cabin factor grew from 44.2% to 50.2% showing improved use of resources.