Economic Affairs Minister Juhan Parts said of the problems Estonian Air faces today, many stem from when SAS was the company's biggest shareholder.
“I haven't yet said it, but I will now: the bulk of Estonian Air's financial sustainability issues originate from the past,” Parts told Parliament today.
“The decisions made while it was under SAS management were probably made in good faith,” said the minister. “Today, five years after the decisions were made, we can ask whether each choice that affected the company's financial results was sensible or not.”
Estonia bought back the airline from Scandinavian Airlines at the end of 2010 for 18 million euros.
The Cabinet decided last week to loan Estonian Air 8.3 million euros at 15% interest.
The fate of Estonian Air could rest on a decision by the European Commission on whether the Estonian Cabinet can bail out Estonian Air with additional state aid. Without the funding, it is likely the company will be allowed to file for bankruptcy.
In the place of a bankrupt Estonian Air, the state may decide to create a new airline that would be free of EU capital constraints.