The shareholders of Latvia`s national airline airBaltic have announced the appointment of Mr. Bertold Flick as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company, from March 1, 2000. Mr. Flick has been a member of the airBaltic Board since 1995, and since 1999, has served as Chairman of the Board. Jens Helm¿ Larsen will be continuing his career with SAS.
On March 4, a reception in honour of departing airBaltic president Jens Helm¿ Larsen and the new airBaltic president Bertold Flick was held at the New Hall of the Latvian National Opera.
Mr. Larsen commented on the management change: “The year 2001 closed with a profit for airBaltic - a very significant achievement, especially since this year is said to have been the most unprofitable year in the history of the air travel industry. With such a good year behind us, I feel that it is time to hand over management of the company to a new President and CEO, to Mr. Bertold Flick. I am convinced that the company has established a sound basis for future development.
For myself, I can say that I will be returning to SAS management, but I must admit that it will be hard for me to leave Latvia after the two-and-a-half years spent here. I will always have fond memories of this friendly country, and no matter where my job takes me, I will always be following the development of Latvia and airBaltic with great interest.
The new airBaltic President, Bertold Flick, said: “September 11 brought enormous changes to the industry. The face of the airlines market has changed. The big companies are suffering losses, while the so-called low-cost airlines continue to expand their operations.
At a time like this, we must respond quickly to market requirements. We have already created a new product - the Baltic Shuttle flights to Helsinki, Tallinn and Vilnius at very reasonable prices.
At the same time, I would like to assure you that, no matter what future developments airBaltic may undergo, our main priorities - safety, punctuality and service - will never change.