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Vilnius court orders airBaltic to pay EUR 16 mln to bankrupt flyLAL

BC, Riga/Vilnius, 28.01.2016.Print version
Latvia’s air carrier airBaltic has been ordered to pay EUR 16.121 million to Lithuania’s bankrupt air company flyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines by a Vilnius court., informs LETA/BNS.

The Airport of Riga has been discharged from liability.


Parties to the dispute have 30 days to contest the ruling of the Vilnius Regional Court before the Court of Appeal of Lithuania.


The dispute between the parties over damages was heard behind closed doors. Latvia’s companies contested expert conclusions, which put the damages sustained by flyLAL due to discounts, which were provided by Riga Airport to airBaltic between 2004 and 2008 and were described by the Lithuanian air company as discriminatory, at EUR 43.4 million.


flyLAL sought EUR 57.87 million in damages from the Latvian companies.


airBaltic spokesman Janis Vanags told LETA that the company would appeal against the ruling of the Lithuanian court. He said the airline had successfully completed restructuring and made net profit for several years therefore interest in the airline was growing. airBaltic would not make any detailed comments on the issue as long as several lawsuits involving flyLAL are still in progress, the spokesman said, adding that airline will use all available legal remedies to end the litigation.


Nevetheless, the Lithuanian court's decision will not make airBaltic to revise its development plans in Lithuania. "The only precondition for further improvements and opening of new routes is demand from passengers in Lithuania," Vanags said.


Under the airline's business plan, Horizon 2021, direct flights to 11 destinations from Vilnius and Tallinn are to be launched over the next five years.


Back in 2006, Latvia’s competition regulator acknowledged that the discounts provided by the airport of Riga distorted the market and favored two companies – Latvia’s airBaltic and Ireland’s Ryanair.

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