Ex-CEO of Estonian Air: Start a New Airline

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

A horrible ending is better than an endless horror, says former Estonian Air CEO Toomas Peterson, advising the government to start over with a new company.

Speaking to Äripäev, Peterson noted that the government has already transferred 82.1 million euros in capital and loans to the state-owned airline since 2009.

Estonian Air's operations would be feasible, he said, if the company had five or six same-type aircraft flying to 10 destinations in Europe, with the state keeping a third of the shares, selling the rest to strategic investors and smaller shareholders.

Neighboring cities like Helsinki, Riga, Vilnius and St. Petersburg could be serviced by smaller airplanes run by a regional spinoff of Estonian Air, Peterson said.

On the verge of bankruptcy after years of unsustainable operations, Estonian Air is currently undergoing restructuring and is waiting for a green or red light from the European Commission on whether a government bailout will be permissible.

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