Air Baltic’s €250 million ($281 million) government bail-out, taking the form of an equity investment, has received the green light from the European Commission.
The airline confirmed in a statement that the Commission approved the Latvian government’s deal on 3 July under EU state-aid rules “to contribute to overcome the economic crisis caused by Covid-19 and resume growth”.
Air Baltic says the commission pointed out that Air Baltic had, like other European airlines, been significantly impacted by EU-wide travel restrictions introduced to limit the spread of the coronavirus. “The European Commission also points to the important role of Air Baltic in the Latvian economy, ensuring Latvia’s connectivity with other European countries,” adds the airline.
“The European Commission has concluded that the increase in Air Baltic share capital will contribute to overcoming the economic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Latvian economy as a whole,” says Air Baltic chief executive Martin Gauss. “At the moment, we are already on the path of recovery and we greatly appreciate Latvian society and the government’s confidence in the future of the airline.”
Cirium fleets data shows Air Baltic has 16 of its 22 Airbus A220s currently in service. The remainder of its fleet – six A220s, four Boeing 737-300s and 12 De Havilland Dash 8-400s – are all stored.