airBaltic CEO, Bertolt Flick, stated the carrier expects economic conditions in the Baltic markets to worsen in 2010 (Baltic Reports, 30-Jan-2010). airBaltic launched nine new routes in Jan-2010, with a focus on niche markets in Scandinavia and the CIS, including Manchester-Riga, Amman-Riga, Beirut-Riga, Umea-Riga, London-Vilnius, Dublin-Vilnius, Oslo-Vilnius, Hamburg-Vilnius and Manchester-Vilnius services.
airBaltic: “We expect economic conditions in the Baltic markets to worsen in 2010 compared to 2009. Gross domestic product will continue to decline in 2010 and no recovery can be expected until summer 2011. We will see further collapse of local passenger traffic in the Baltics, as buying power of residents diminishes due to higher taxes, lower incomes and rising unemployment. airBaltic will therefore open at least 9 new routes to further strengthen our transit product. Our new routes will focus on niche markets in Scandinavia and the CIS where airBaltic faces a low level of competition. airBaltic will be the only serious airline in the Baltics in 2010,” Bertolt Flick, CEO. Source: Baltic Reports, 30-Jan-2010.