The leading airline in the Baltics may pursue an initial public offering (IPO) as one of its ownership options.
2018 performance well above 2017
airBaltic is on track and deliver excellent results, overshooting its 2017 performance as passenger demand is on the rise. The Riga based airline is growing to an all Baltic States airline with increasing operations in Estonia and Lithuania. The expansion will continue in the years to come as the new Airbus A220 aircrafts arrives.
The airline has climbed back into profitably under Martin Gauss leadership and expects 2018 to be the airline’s best financial year ever, surpassing the record result in 2017.
The new Airbus A220 can fly anywhere
airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss said to ATW on the sidelines of Farnborough Airshow that the new A220 will operate any route that makes sense within the aircraft’s range. “There are no limits. We would do any route in any country”, he proudly said.
As fuel prices are at record levels, the new A220 is so fuel efficient that airBaltic make money every time it is used instead of one of the older aircraft the airline has in its fleet.
Time for airBaltic to be privatized
The major owner in the airline is the Latvian government with 79.99% of the shares, the remaining 20% is owned by the Danish businessman Lars Thuesen who purchased the shares in 2017 from Rolf Dieter Montag-Girmes, it looks like Lars Thuesen did a good deal.
The Latvian government has been looking at various options for privatizing airBaltic, but as election in Latvia is only 80 days away, it is not expected any announcement until a new government is in place.
An IPO is an option and can be realistic before summer 2019, though airBaltic is well capitalized and has good financing for the A220 order, there is no rush.