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airBaltic looks ahead to privatisation


“No possibilities will be ruled out” says airline’s CEO

As airBaltic’s cost-cutting program leads it towards profitability, which it hopes to achieve by 2014, the carrier’s CEO Martin Gauss said it was moving ahead with privatization plans. The 99% state-owned carrier is “open for investors”, he told ATW, although the precise timing has not yet been decided. airBaltic is in talks with potential investors, including airlines and investment companies. “Nothing will be ruled out,” he says.
A tough restructuring program is showing better-than-expected results and the airline is aiming for a €430 million reduction in costs by 2016.
“We are LVL50 million ($89.4 million) better than last year,” Gauss tells ATW, adding that the carrier expects to lose LVL38 million this year and LVL16 million next year before finally becoming profitable.
Cost-cutting includes reducing 70% of the management and 15% of staff by the end of 2012 and reducing the fleet from 34 to 24 aircraft.
[photo courtesy airBaltic]


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