Air Baltic chief executive Bertolt Flick has blamed pressure from the USA for preventing the carrier's planned services to Iranian capital Tehran from taking off, leaked diplomatic cables have revealed.
A document dated 26 February 2010, originating from the US embassy in Riga, stated that Flick "met with Ambassador Garber to complain about US pressure on the GOL [government of Latvia] to prohibit Air Baltic's planned new service to Iran".
The cable added that Flick "expressed his frustration that the previously planned flight caused a controversy and his view that Air Baltic was being unfairly singled out given ongoing flights to Iran by other European airlines, such as Lufthansa".
Air Baltic announced in early February 2010 that it planned to start serving Tehran from Riga on 8 June of that year, but the flights never materialised.
Flick is also mentioned in the document as requesting help from the embassy for Air Baltic to begin flights to Baghdad and Saudi Arabia. "He said that Air Baltic has been attempting to obtain approvals for such flights from the Iraqi and Saudi Arabian governments, but those governments have so far been unresponsive."
The cable was publicly disclosed by the Wikileaks organisation.