“And what? Don’t Latvians understand Russian?
“At Brussels airport, when boarding an AirBaltic flight flying from Brussels to Riga, the boarding was announced in Russian, but not in Latvian. In response to my question, I received an explanation that this was the decision of the airport staff, and in general they do not have such an announcement in Latvian, ”Roberts Zile was offended on his Twitter.
The MEP tried to return to his homeland the day before after a business trip to Belgium. Without receiving a public apology, he released the following tweet a few hours later.
“And what? Don’t Latvians understand Russian? - the iron logic of the airport staff, ”the parliamentarian was indignant.
1/2 ovakar iekpana @airBaltic The trip BT604 to Riga, Brussels Airport was organized in Russian, but not in Latvian. To my questions, I found out that it was decided by the airport staff and they do not have such a record at all in Latvian…
- Roberts Bad (@robertszile) January 13, 2022
He also noted in the message the airline carrier AirBaltic and stated that it needed to sort out the situation. After all, some time ago, he already “managed to prevent a similar situation” at the airport in France.
The situation in which the European parliamentarian found himself aroused sympathy among his fellow countrymen.
“If there are people in the airline with such serious gaps in education, then we need to think about whether such illiteracy can exist in other matters. For example, flight safety,” writer Otto Ozols wrote words of support to Zile.
The second tweet of the politician also found a response from the airline.
“Good morning! Thank you for the information received. On behalf of AirBaltic, we apologize to passengers for this situation,” he was answered on Twitter.
The press service of the air carrier explained that, according to their requirements, flights from abroad to Riga must be announced by the staff of the airport of departure in the local state, English and Latvian languages, and “in cases where the airport staff can provide it.”
Is it possible to go to the employee where the exact decision is made? If the airline employs people with such serious gaps, then it is likely that illiteracy may be similar to other issues. For example, flight drob.
— Otto Ozols (@OttoOzols) January 13, 2022
“The use of announcements in Russian in-flight from Brussels was not requested in the specific situation. This is a mistake on the part of the counterparty. Such errors are unacceptable. AirBaltic will contact the management of Brussels Airport,” the airline assured.
Not Roberts Alone
Zile was not the first to make such a claim against AirBaltic. So, in 2015, MP Artus Kaimins, who made a brawl on board the aircraft, was in the spotlight.
Then, between the people’s choice and the flight attendant, disagreements also arose because of the language in which the appeal sounded on the plane. And then he refused to erase the footage filmed during the flight.
Arturs was outraged by the fact that when the plane ended up in the Latvian airspace, a message was sounded about the possibility of a transfer for passengers who are flying in transit. The announcement was made in Russian and English.
Kaimins called a flight attendant to find out why the message was in Russian, which is not one of the official languages of the EU, but not in Latvian. The flight attendant replied that the choice of language is determined by a specific directive, besides, the Latvians do not use the possibility of transfer.
The deputy reacted to these words in such a way that he soon found himself in the police station of the Riga International Airport.
Why Roberts Zile doesn’t like Russian
The party of the right-wing radical National Bloc (National Association), which Roberts Zile is a member of, is part of the ruling coalition in the Saeima (parliament) of Latvia. The MEP has repeatedly been nominated for the prime ministers of the country from this party.
The faction adheres to the far right ideology. Its members propose and lobby for laws aimed at squeezing the Russian population out of Latvia. In addition, the National Blok actively and openly supports the policy of glorifying the Latvian Nazis who served Hitler during World War II.