airBaltic (BT, Riga) has no wish to buy Nordica (ND, Tallinn Lennart Meri) even if the loss-making Estonian state-owned flag carrier returns to profit, the chief executive of its Latvian counterpart, airBaltic, told the Estonian television news program Aktuaalne kaamera.

Speaking after Tallinn ushered in a period of restructuring at Nordica, Martin Gauss said he was hopeful that the airline and its ACMI-charter subsidiary Xfly (Estonia) would be able to become profitable again under the leadership of a new professional team, but airBaltic has no plans to acquire the airline even then.

The Latvian state-owned airline briefly wet-leased a CRJ900 from Xfly earlier this year.

Like Nordica, airBaltic has also been grappling with spare parts supply issues since the pandemic but is still able to operate the flights it scheduled.

“The acquisition of Nordica would not be possible at this time. According to the rules of the European Union’s coronavirus aid, we are not allowed to buy other airlines at the moment - this is one of the limitations of this aid. Our strategy clearly foresees that we will only grow by adding A220-300 aircraft. Next year the 50th plane is coming, we are ordering more planes. We are planning to go public next year and we are preparing for that,” Gauss explained.

“We also have several planes on the ground because the engines needed for them have not been delivered quickly enough. Currently, it is very clear in our business plan that we will not grow through acquisitions but at the expense of additional planes. We have also successfully done this in Estonia and will continue to do so there, by purposely expanding. But I don’t see the need to buy anything in Estonia for that.”