Estonian Air's fate still up in the air

4/28/2015 1:21 PM
Category: Economy

The European Commission is yet to decide if loans given to state-owned carrier Estonian Air between 2011-2014 were legal, but there is now hope that it will do so in the fall, three years after the Commission first began its investigation.

Infortar, major shareholders of Tallink ferry company, is also waiting for a decision, having shown willingness to take the troubled airline off the state's hands, Delfi reported today.

The decision has been postponed for a number of reasons, including a change of commissioner, Estonian national elections and changes in the restructuring plan submitted to the Commission, with Estonian officials often traveling to Brussels to meet with Commission staff.

A negative decision by the Commission will mean bankruptcy for the company as it will have to pay the state back 90 million euros, a sum which is does not have. A positive decision, on the other hand, will allow the state to offload the loss-making company.

Infortar's is the only serious offer on the table, even if that offer is 1 euro and debts to the state written off. The company said the offer is still good, but they will not wait forever, with Ain Hanschmidt, one of Infortar's owners, saying Estonian politicians are yet to stand united on the issue and lobby the Commission for a positive decision.

J.M. Laats

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