Monday, February 2, 2009
Bertolt Flick, Executive Director of Air Baltic, has bought over 47.2% of the shares of the airline from Scandinavian Airlines. The Latvian State still owns 52.6% of the shares and did not use its preemptive rights to purchase the shares.
Transport Minister Ainars Slesers previously explained that the State could not take over full control of the airline due to a lack of ressources. They assessed that LVL 47 million would be needed to buy the shares (current cost LVL 14 million) and pay back loans.
Mid-August, SAS announced that it intends to sell its stake in Air Baltic since the Latvian government denied the offer of privatization formulated by SAS.
Slesers had previously underlined that he would not support "airBaltic's" privatization as eventually it would not be in Latvia's interest. Slesers also said that the airline's development is very successful at the moment.
Last year, "airBaltic" carried 2.6 million passengers, which is 29 percent more than in the year 2007, when the total number of passengers was 2,007,150.