Latvia's airBaltic cleared for Paris flights

4th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

RIGA, Feb 4 (AFP) - Latvia's national carrier airBaltic can begin direct flights to Paris in May, the transport ministry announced Friday.

RIGA, Feb 4 (AFP) - Latvia's national carrier airBaltic can begin direct flights to Paris in May, the transport ministry announced Friday.

"An agreement has been reached for airBaltic to launch direct flights to Paris from May this year," said transport ministry spokesman Aldis Bite.

The agreement was signed Friday by Transport Minister Ainars Slesers and Bertold Flick, president of airBaltic.

"This is an agreement between airBaltic and the transport ministry (under which) we will start to work on a direct flight project. We don't know yet which airport airBaltic will fly to in Paris," Vija Dzerve, spokeswoman of airBaltic told AFP."

Direct flights to Paris will improve business and cultural contacts between Latvia and France and will help to attract tourists and investment," Slesers said.

AirBaltic, in which the Latvian state holds a 52.6 percent stake and Scandinavian airline SAS 47.2 percent, operates flights from Riga and Vilnius to over 20 cities in Europe.

Last year, the carrier saw passenger numbers soar to 589,300 customers last year, up 75 percent compared with 2003.

The number of flights operated by the airline was up 57 percent, with 16,205 flights in 2004 compared to 10,316 the previous year when airBaltic served 336,400 passengers.

The growth was related to a one-way low-price policy and expansion of the network of routes, Dzerve said last month.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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