The widespread effort to preserve the health of airlines during the COVID-19 crisis has landed in the Baltics. Nearing the end of last week, the Latvian government stepped in with an equity injection of €250 million into airBaltic to weather the economic effects of the virus and its impact on global growth.
According to a press release from airBaltic this investment will see the states shareholding rise to 91% from its previous stake of 80%. The venture is still subject to the European Commission’s approval and it is said to be executed in layers of tranches which will adhere to EU regulations to ensure the investment does not surpass the losses induced by the impacts of the virus.
AirBaltic’s CEO, Martin Gauss commented on the venture saying: “With this new equity investment, we can begin to execute our new business plan Destination 2025 CLEAN which focuses on a new start for airBaltic once international flights resume. This will facilitate successful growth for the company once the impact of the COVID-19 crisis begins to ease.”
Before the virus, the airline operated 12 DHC Dash-8s, 3 Boeing 737s and 22 Airbus A220-300s. This new plan will potentially see airBaltic operate an all-airbus narrow-body fleet by 2023, which will entail cycling out their DHC Dash-8s and 737s to create room for a fleet of up to 50 A220s.