LATVIA – AIRBALTIC
According to «Delfi», the state has invested more than 300 million euros over two years in the so-called rescue of the national airline airBaltic. At that time, the airline had significant losses and this trend will continue in 2022.
Nevertheless, airBaltic is one of the main sponsors of the TV3 entertainment show Dancing with the Stars and is also a sponsor of other programmes.
With the start of the pandemic and then the war in Ukraine, the company’s losses have reached significant proportions – €264.8m in 2020, €135.7m in 2021 and €6.251m in the first three months of this year.
When asked to assess the airline’s sponsorship activities, the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau explained that companies with state capital can donate no more than 20% of the previous year’s profits. Profits, not funds that taxpayers, through the government, allocated to «save» the company.
The excuse that the airline is advertising itself in this way does not stand up to scrutiny – there is no mention of any specific airBaltic offer, prices, benefits, etc. in the show’s commercials. There is only branding, which is common practice for the general sponsor.