airBaltic needs more government support if pandemic continues

An AirBaltic plane at Tallinn Airport.
An AirBaltic plane at Tallinn Airport. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The CEO of Latvian airline company airBaltic has said if the situation with coronavirus does not improve by spring the company will need additional support from the Latvian government, Latvian public broadcaster LSM reported on Thursday.

Martin Gauss said additional money would not be needed if flights resume in spring and return to the usual level in summer. But, if the coronavirus pandemic has not receeded by then, the company will need more financial support to continue.

Gauss said, currently, the airline is still able to cover the costs of flights but not all of the costs associated with running an airline. He hopes the vaccine will help the aviation industry to recover.

The company does not expect flights to recover in January and February but hopes countries will ease restrictions in March and April.

The Latvian government has invested €250 million in the share capital of the company as extraordinary aid and converted a €36 million government loan into company shares. The state's share in airBaltic has increased from 80.05 percent to 91 percent.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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