Air Baltic chief Flick quits to secure carrier's recapitalisation

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Latvian carrier Air Baltic's embattled chief executive, Bertolt Flick, has resigned from his post at the helm of the carrier, after several weeks of turmoil with the government over recapitalising the airline.

Air Baltic is co-owned by a private group, Baltijas Aviacijas Sistemas, and the Latvian state but the two sides had been deadlocked over funding the operator, with the government demanding Flick's removal as a condition of support.

The two sides last week reached a deal on a capital injection, and the carrier had planned to finalise the details today.

"The last few months have been very difficult for our company," Flick said. "For a long period of time, necessary decisions by the shareholders had not been taken, until the situation was resolved today.

"As an owner and for the sake of Air Baltic, I have agreed to step down, as the agreement between the shareholders does so require, for the future of the airline."

Flick had been involved with the carrier since its inception, acting as an advisor to the government on its creation.

"We have developed from a small, expensive airline in 2002, to one of the leaders in innovation, and market leaders in Northern Europe," he said. "The environment is highly competitive; Air Baltic therefore has to constantly adapt and improve."