The Latvian government agreed to support acquiring up to EUR136 million euros (USD145.7 million) worth of airBaltic (BT, Riga) bonds during an April 30 meeting of the governing coalition parties.

The government has a 97.97% shareholding in the carrier, and recent changes to the law allow the finance minister to authorise the purchase of fixed-income securities issued by majority state-owned enterprises. The government would increase state debt to finance any acquisitions. The airline is due to repay EUR200 million (USD214 million) state aid in July and is reportedly on track to do so.

Transport Minister Kaspars Brišken told Riga-based journalists this week that the state could buy the bonds alongside private investors under the same conditions and in accordance with market and European Union rules. A final decision will be subject to a vote in Latvia's parliament, the Saeima.

Separately, airBaltic has hosed down speculation it intends to start flights to the United States after applying to the US Department of Transport (DOT) for permission to operate scheduled and charter routes between European Union countries and the US and points beyond.

Aviation Week Network reported that airBaltic's vice president for network development, Mantas Vrubliauskas, said that there were no plans to start scheduled services to the US; instead, the application was about allowing the airline to tap ACMI opportunities in the US during the European low season. To do that, airBaltic needed permission to fly. "We just want to be ready," he said.

airBaltic's current DOT permit allows it to conduct codeshare flight arrangements with a US or foreign carrier to the US and points beyond but not use its own aircraft. The airline now seeks to change that.

"In July 2023, the Federal Aviation Administration placed Latvia in Category 1 under its IASA safety program, which now enables airBaltic and other carriers from Latvia to operate to the United States with their own aircraft," the filing reads. "Given this development, airBaltic requests that the Department amend its foreign air carrier permit to remove the code-share only limitation and also grant it exemption authority to operate with its own aircraft the open skies authority set forth in its existing foreign air carrier permit."