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Monday 20.11.2017 | Name days: Anda, Andīna
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airBaltic likely to list shares in 2014

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUAlready in 2014, the national airline airBaltic’s shares might be listed on the stock exchange, informs Anrijs Matiss, State Secretary at the Transport Ministry.

The state should not have to deal with aviation matters, so after the financial situation stabilizes, strategic investor should be attracted to the airline to expand its destinations and fleet. Currently, it is planned that airline’s stock flotation could start in 2014, Matiss indicates in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Asked where the shareholders’ funds will be allocated after the share capital increase, Matiss points out that, firstly, the airline has outstanding liabilities with suppliers, airports and leasing companies. Secondly, the money is to be invested in fleet renewal – Fokker aircraft use will be stopped in November, instead buying new planes on leasing. Ten million lats have to be paid immediately for purchasing ten aircraft on leasing.

Matiss confirmed that airBaltic redundancy of 200-250 employees is still in force. These workers are currently involved in servicing Fokker aircraft. Possibly, some of them will be able to retrain for servicing new aircraft.

Commenting on airBaltic president Bertolt Flick’s projections that airBaltic activities will be narrowed this autumn, the State Secretary says the aviation is a seasonal business and for objective conditions there are less passengers in winter. Also, the destination network might be optimized, as it was one of the reasons for airline’s losses.

At the same time, Matiss does not agree with Flick that the airport Riga’s new terminal is no longer necessary. The Transport Ministry’s spokesman affirmed that the airport has good ideas in this area which will be developed further. This issue is very current because in 2015 Latvia will become the EU Presiding Country, consequently, the number of air passengers is set to increase.

Asked whether the government has finally verified actual beneficiaries of airBaltic‘s minority shareholder Baltic Aviation Systems (BAS), Matiss answered evasively that now the confidence is larger.

The key is to gain assurance that the true beneficiaries have the necessary financial resources for investments in airBaltic‘s share capital so that state would not have to pay 100 million lats on its own.

As for the government and the private shareholder’s agreement terms, Matiss confirmed that one of them stipulates adjusting the issues that are currently being addressed in  courts, namely, airBaltic legal protection process and the state’s requirement for the so-called SAS bond cancellation.

The news portal BNN already reported that the government confirmed on Tuesday, September 27, an agreement on airBaltic future management, stipulating that the government will invest 57.6 million lats in the airline’s share capital.

If airBaltic‘s minority shareholders fulfill the conditions, the Transport Minister Uldis Augulis is to sign such an agreement. According to the government representatives, the agreement will be signed until September 29, when the shareholders’ meeting takes place.


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