airBaltic (BT, Riga) will likely place a new order with Bombardier Aerospace for AC!CS3s in the coming months, but has so far failed to attract a strategic investor despite two years of government efforts to sell the airline.

Last year, airBaltic floated the idea of ordering a further fourteen CS300s in addition to the twenty the company already acquired. Chief Financial Officer Vitolds Jakovlevs confirmed during the Aviation Finance conference that the order will be placed soon, but did not elaborate on the number of aircraft involved.

The Latvian flag carrier has so far taken delivery of seven aircraft of the type, the ch-aviation fleets module shows.

The additional Bombardier twinjets will replace Dash 8-400s in airBaltic's fleet. The carrier currently operates twelve turboprops of the type.

Partially thanks to the fleet increase, airBaltic has posted 22% traffic growth for 2017. However, despite the growing traffic, the airline is struggling to find a strategic investor.

The Latvian government, which holds 80.05% of the shares in the airline, has been looking for a new owner for the last two years. In October 2017, the Ministry of Transport said it received some offers and is open to a full privatisation of the carrier, but so far results of these talks have not materialised.

"Two years ago we were in a completely different situation. We are functioning much better now. There is no need to sell at this time because the airline is in good condition," CEO Martin Gauss said recently during an interview with LTV.

airBaltic needs a capital injection to continue its fleet renewal programme but Gauss stressed that it will not turn to the state for aid.

Last year, Gauss also told Pasazer.com that the airline tentatively plans to withdraw its six B737-300s and five B737-500s by 2020, although it wants to retain flexibility in this regard.