Nordica CEO: No plans to seek state aid this year
State-owned airline Nordica will not need any state aid in the near future, the carrier's CEO, Erki Urva, says, ahead of a €641-million stimulus bill being handed to the Riigikogu this week. The airline had obtained €30 million in state aid last year.
Given its model, markets – including the Scandinavian market, where Nordica subsidiaries operate domestic lines – and its business partners, the company will not need to ask for more aid so far this year, he said.
"The financial situation is normal," Urva told ERR. "We also have to thank our business partners here, the various leasing companies who have come to the rescue. The situation is still very complicated, there is no more to say than that," he continued.
"We are very active in delivering, also in different markets, we are looking for different public procurement opportunities," he added.
Nordica was the beneficiary of €30 million in aid – €22 million via boosted share capital and €8 million in the form of a KredEx loan – last year, and also minimized its cost base.
The sector as a whole, blighted as it is globally by the pandemic, is not likely to recover until significant proportions of the population have been vaccinated against COVID-19, Urva said, referring to all countries – which have different rates of vaccination as well as viral incidence. Travelers would also likely need to be able to prove they have had a vaccination, he added.
The second half of this year may see green shoots of recovery, he said, but 2019 levels will bot be attainable any time soon, with forecasts looking more likely at 2023-2024 for full recovery. With regard to business flights, the year-long pandemic has also demonstrated the extent to which meetings which would previously have required flights can now go ahead and function without participants being in the one room.
A supplementary budget, the second of its kind since the pandemic began, has been agreed at government-level, and will be put before parliament on Thursday.
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Editor: Andrew Whyte