Estonian Air Courting Investors (1)
Although Estonian Air is not officially looking for new owners, its CEO Tero Taskila has presented information to two companies that may one day buy all or part of the state-owned airline.
Taskila was reluctant to give details about the would-be investors, though he told Postimees that he had held talks with two companies, both outside Europe, about potential partnerships and said that they might be interested in becoming investors at some point in the future.
He noted, however, that negotiations were at very initial stages and that Estonian Air was not actively seeking partners.
Aviation industry consultant Toomas Peterson told the paper that Estonian Air's management is thought to be planning a restructuring this summer that would create separate subsidiaries for short-haul flights, long-haul flights and charter flights. "This combination could indicate possible readiness to sell," he said.
Moves laying groundwork for a partial or total sell-off should not come as a surprise. The government has said its long-range goal was to dilute the state's ownership in Estonian Air, re-nationalized in 2010, after the airline's makeover is complete.