The Latvian government is considering privatising its flag carrier airBaltic (BT, Riga) through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on a stock market, airline CEO Martin Gauss has told Air Transport World.
The government, which has owned 80% of airBaltic since the renationalisation of the carrier in 2011, has been looking for a new private investor for some time now. To date, the efforts focused on a direct sale to a new owner but yielded no results.
The remaining 20% of airBaltic's stock has been owned by Danish businessman Lars Thuesen since 2017.
Gauss added that he would not expect any announcements regarding airBaltic's future ownership prior to the upcoming parliamentary elections, due to happen not later than October 6, 2018. The elections should not fundamentally alter the government's approach to the airline as the currently ruling social-democratic SDPS party is clearly leading in the polls.
"We would likely see [the airline going public] in spring or summer next year if something is happening. There is no urgency because we have placed the order [for...