Air Baltic Ruling Gives Hope to Estonian Air ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

The European Commission ruled that methods used to restructure Latvian state-owned airline Air Baltic were in line with EU regulations, which could be a good sign for Estonian Air, which is under similar scrutiny.

The Commission found the reconstruction made the company viable in the long-run and did not violate competition laws, LSM reported on Wednesday.

The Commission had been looking into questions concerning Latvia’s 2011 loan worth 22.65 million euros to the 98 percent state-owned company, the interest on which was reduced just two months after it was granted.

The government has long-term plans to sell off the company, which recorded a 27 million euro loss in 2012, but turned that into a 1 million euro profit last year.

“The Air Baltic decision is no doubt positive, especially in the light of all the Baltic Air connections,” Rasmus Ruuda, a spokesman for the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs, said.

The Commission began a similar investigation into 40 million euros of state aid given to Estonian Air, also for restructuring purposes.