Just came over this confusing press release from Air Baltic.
Seems to be some issues between Air Baltic, Riga Airport, Latvian Government vs FlyLAL and the Lithuanian government.
Anyony from the area knowing what's going on?
The Lithuanian national airline announced in the Lithuanian media today that the Vilnius Regional Court had upheld a request from “FlyLAL - Lithuanian Airlines” to ensure security for a lawsuit by placing property of the Latvian national airline airBaltic and the Riga International Airport under arrest for a total sum of LTL 199.83 million (LVL 40.77 million).
At this time, airBaltic has received no official document from Lithuania’s court institutions to confirm that this is so.
The court ruling vis-à-vis airBaltic and the Riga International Airport cannot be implemented in Latvia. Before handing down such a ruling, the court surely must have solicited the views of airBaltic and the airport. According to a ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Communities (21 May 1980, Bernard Denilauler v SNC Couchet Frères), a court ruling cannot be applied in another EU member state if the relevant parties are not heard. In this case that applies to airBaltic and the Riga International Airport, and a ruling in Lithuania cannot have legal effect in Latvia.
Ordinary legal practice is that security for lawsuits is ensured and properties are put under arrest only in those cases in which there is reason to believe that the respondent will seek to avoid a judgment or engage in malicious activities which lead to a situation in which there are no assets to collect. The Latvian state owns 52% of airBaltic and 100% of the Riga International Airport, and it is liable for the activities of those two enterprises with all of its property. The ruling in Vilnius apparently means that the judge believes that the Republic of Latvia would not be able to make payment if the court were to rule that monies are to be collected.
airBaltic welcomes the fact that the rule of law prevails in the European Union and that shameless and arbitrary actions against businesses are not permitted.
FlyLAL apparently believes that it is normal “business” to attack the reputation of airBaltic and the Riga International Airport. Instead, the company has blackened its own reputation and that of the Republic of Lithuania, and this may have a seriously deleterious effect on the investment environment in that country. If an international airport in a neighbouring country can be put under arrest at the initiative of a small enterprise, then there is truly reason to be upset. We are concerned that this will have a negative effect on the development of business in all of Lithuania. The fact is that the aviation market in Lithuania already lags far behind the one in Latvia, as is seen in the following facts:
* During the winter season this year, departures from the Riga airport will lead to more than 60 destinations, while departures from Vilnius will lead to only a few more than 20;
* This year the Riga airport forecasts a total of 3.7 million passengers, while the Vilnius airport expects fewer than 2 million.
The point is that the situation with the aviation market in Lithuania is worsening, and it is a better option for residents of our neighbouring country to depart from the Riga International Airport.
airBaltic will continue operations as always. During the winter season, the airline will offer four new destinations (Tampere, Hannover, Amsterdam and Dubai), with 48 routes in all from Riga. That is the most extensive offer of flights in the Baltic States, and the airline has no doubt that it will attract numerous passengers from Lithuania.
airBaltic is also prepared to continue its operations in the Lithuanian market. This winter airBaltic will offer flights to Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Helsinki, London, Milan, Munich, Oslo, Paris (from 9 March), Riga, Rome (from 10 March), Stockholm and Tallinn from the Vilnius airport. Since the beginning of September, the airline has increased the number of flights between Vilnius and Riga to as many as five flights a day.
Seems like the Lithuanians using some old style Soviet tactics, forgetting that they're member of the EU