Linas Jegelevicius, The Baltic Times
KLAIPEDA - Unlike in Latvia and Estonia, Lithuanian air travel has been through tumultuous shake-ups for the last three years. Due to ever-increasing expenditures, unreasonable operational costs and, most importantly, shady management, Lithuanian airlines, FlyLAL-Lithuanian Airlines, with debt of more than 100 million litas (29 million euros), sank into insolvency and filed bankruptcy at the start of 2009.
Eligijus Masiulis, minister of the Transport and Communications Ministry, was quick to respond to the collapse of the carrier at possibly the worst time – just before the array of events for the national venue “Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009.” He quickly promised new players to fill in the void. However, the successor of the doomed national carrier, Star1 airline, lasted just a bit over one year, drowning in financial troubles in early October this year. The executives of the company, plagued with insolvency, were promising to resuscitate the airline with a Chinese company’s lavish financial inflow, but with the ongoing negotiations drawing irk from exasperated Lithuanians, the government revoked the company’s flying license, ending the bid.
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With successive national airline bankruptcies, low-budget carriers are seen as an escape