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Saturday, 08.03.2014, 21:43
Minister Parts: Estonian Air’s six-month results fell short of expectations
He admitted that the flight connections of Estonian Air are better a few years ago, but there are still problems.
“The State has set the enterprise an objective to guarantee better flight connections and to start earning a profit,” said Parts. “The aspect concerning the most concern is that although connectivity has improved, financial results are clearly below expectations and the management board of the enterprise and the entire company will very seriously have to deal with this problem,” he added.
When asked about the exact figures on profitability, Parts remarked that while thus far Estonian Air has disclosed its financial results once a year, it would be reasonable to report at least twice a year or even quarterly. “Revealing financial results does not only involve reporting on numbers, but the enterprise will also have to provide explanations and take into account its partners.
The minister said that he understands the public’s great interest in the work of Estonian Air. “Nevertheless, Estonian Air is not the only enterprise with State’s holdings and the question is, whether the company can react sufficiently promptly and with sufficient thoroughness to the public’s interests.
When asked, whether the Government would be prepared to put additional funds into the airline, Parts said that it was too early to answer. “The Government has up to now granted funds to Estonian Air on the basis of the presumption that the company would be able to carry out the necessary changes with it and reach a stable position. No other proposals, recommendations or claims have reached the Government from the enterprise,” he explained.
When addressing the point of the State’s strategy towards the airline, Parts remarked that the principal point of interest is to guarantee connections to strategic destinations. “Our minimum number of flight connections is the number that would guarantee business and cultural ties; flight connections will have to contribute to achieving economic success and in such a case the principle ‘the more destinations, the better’,” explained the minister.
The newspaper asked about Estonian Air recently having made a decision to discontinue its flights to London and Parts noted that the State cannot simply demand that the airline operate flights to London. At the same time, the minister said that if Estonian Air flies to major capitals on the continent, it should also fly to London.