We have seen many products from Latvia and many companies and entrepreneurs that were born or work from Latvia and are very successful in today´s marketplace. Latvia, apart from exporting many products, also exports services, specifically, for the article´s purpose, air transport services. The leading company for this matter is AirBaltic and we are going to take a superficial look at the company.
The Latvian airline “A/S Air Baltic Corporation (airBaltic)” was founded in 1995. The most important investor and primary shareholder was the Latvian state with 99.8% of stock. The idea of establishing the airline was to introduce a new way to approach air transport by taking the best practices from traditional network airlines with their big operations, logistics systems and customer service management; and low cost carriers that focus on taking people from point A to point B for a very low price and sometimes sacrificing customer service but opening air travel for everybody. After 13 years, in 2008, airBaltic changed its operating model from a point-to-point carrier to a network airline making Riga a connecting hub between East and west.
Nowadays the airline offers low cost tickets to a wide network of countries in Europe and the world such as Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East. Airbaltic still has their low cost fare approach that competes against other airlines´ prices. Their prices can be compared to that of a bus, car, train or ferry travel. The airline also offers many other pre, during and post flight services to add to the whole experience and they encourage all their travellers to book and purchase their tickets through he webpage in order to save costs and continue to offer low cost fares.
As for their fleet, they have 3 types of aircraft: 5 Boeing 737-500 and 8 Boeing 737-300. The 737 family is the best-selling jetliner family in aviation history, with more than 5,200 737s sold; 12 Bombardier Q400 NextGen which is a very quiet aircraft and very comfortable for passengers. The airline is proud of having a special aircraft that contributes to helping preserve the environment since the Q400 uses less fuel (approximately 30% less than older, inefficient jets of the same size) and produces fewer emissions than similar aircraft.
As for operations and destinations, airBaltic operates direct flights out of three Baltic capitals – Riga (Latvia), Vilnius (Lithuania) and Tallinn (Estonia), as well as Frankfurt and Dortmund (Germany), offers convenient connections via North Hub Riga to its network in Europe Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East and operates direct direct flights from Riga to all the main cities in Europe and the middle east such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, , London, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Tel Aviv, Thessaloniki, Turk, Warsaw, Zurich.
The other major advantage airBaltic has is that they have established close co-operation with airlines that enhance airBaltic’s well-balanced network of West-bound and East-bound destinations. Some of their partners include Aeroflot, Tarom, Czech Airline, Alitalia, Air France, Belavia, Azerbaijan Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Uzbekistan Airways, Georgian Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Air Berlin, British Airways, Ukraine International Airlines, Aegean Airlines.
The staff at Air Baltic is one of their most important assets. In fact, many people in Latvia wish to work at this company and it has been consistently ranked among the Top Employers in the country. There are many reasons why people want to work for Air Baltic, but the main reasons are the possibilities to travel and know the world; the fact that the company is very international and trendy; Air Blatic is the Market leader in the Baltics; it has a dynamic environment with possibilities to grow with in the organization. The best jobs include exciting locations and possibilities, both in the air and on the ground: pilots, cabin crew, flight dispatchers, engineers, and technicians, load control coordinators, service managers, network development specialists, customer service specialists, sales people, web marketing specialists, revenue management specialists and pricing analysts
AirBaltic is full of awards, recognitions and amazing milestones. For example, last year the airline transported the 1 000 000th passenger on an Oslo – Riga route and received the award as the world’s most punctual airline. In 2014 AirBaltic took the Olympic team to Sochi, was recognised as Top Employer in Latvia and was featured on postage stamps issued by Latvijas Pasts (Latvian Post) in a limited collection featuring the airline’s state-of-the-art Bombardier fleet.
Finally, as part of their human resource, and apart from their 1200 employees, their management team is very well equipped: Martin Gauss, a professional with more than 23 years of experience in the airline industry; Martin Sedlacky who In the past decade has had a strong focus on business restructurings, including airlines, across Central and Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, USA, Singapore, Malaysia; and Vitolds Jakovlevs who Prior to joining airBaltic had an extensive experience in investment banking and asset management sectors in Latvia.