Latvian national air carrier AirBaltic can be completely privatized

AirBalticThe Latvian national air carrier AirBaltic, which is 80% state-owned, can be completely privatized. This was stated on Monday by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Transport of Latvia.

“If we see that the investor who takes all state shares in the ownership and fulfills our conditions, then why not [to privatize the company completely]?”, said the Minister of Transport, Kaspars Ozolins. “This will only help the company develop and significantly reduce the risk, that it is necessary to use taxpayers’ money. The state is difficult to be an effective shareholder, because the laws do not provide for it such investment opportunities, as for a private shareholder”, added he.

Earlier the state instructed the ministry to find a strategic investor for the airline until November 3. In total, negotiations on this topic were held with about 95% of the world’s airlines, as well as with various investment funds. The proposals will be analyzed and sent to the government in the near future.

AirBaltic is the national airline of Latvia, which operates flights to more than 50 cities around the world from Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius. The company is 80% owned by the government of the country, while remaining 20% are hold by investors.

The air fleet of the company, which has 30 aircraft, includes 7 Bombardier CS300, 5 Boeing 737-500s, 6 Boeing 737-300 and 12 Bombardier Q400 NextGen.