Air Lituanica retaliates after Estonian split

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Lithuanian start-up Air Lituanica has launched a counterattack after Estonian Air unilaterally scrapped the airlines' commercial partnership, insisting that the Estonian operator is indebted to the company.

Estonian Air, which operated an Embraer 170 for Air Lituanica, had claimed that Lithuanian airline had not met payments for services.

But Air Lituanica says it is "astonished" by the decision to axe the pact, which focused on routes from Vilnius to Amsterdam and Berlin, and claims that Estonian Air actually owes it Lt5.7 million ($2.2 million) arising from transported passengers as well as deposits.

Air Lituanica is demanding repayment and says it is considering "extreme measures" in response.

From 28 November the Amsterdam flights will only be sold through Estonian Air's distribution channels. But Air Lituanica says the Amsterdam route is lucrative and that it will aim to operate the connection independently.

Air Lituanica will continue to serve Berlin, Brussels, Munich and Prague using its other aircraft, a leased Embraer 175. "Passengers will not incur any inconvenience," it adds.