airBaltic (BT, Riga) is planning to establish a subsidiary in another European country and could transfer up to thirty A220-300s to the new unit, CEO Martin Gauss told Bloomberg.

The Latvian flag carrier will most likely seek private equity funding for the new subsidiary. Details of the plan will be firmed by the end of the year, after airBaltic firms the options for thirty A220-300s tentatively announced in 2018.

The carrier previously said that it will base at least some of its incoming A220s outside of the three Baltic states, namely Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, due to the saturation of the market there.

airBaltic currently operates fourteen A220-300s and has a further thirty-six on firm order besides the thirty not yet firmed options. It expects to become an A220-only operator by 2022 after retiring its B737s and Dash 8-400s.

Once airBaltic firms the thirty options, the deliveries of these units will be scheduled for after 2022.

Gauss also said that the carrier itself is still evaluating its funding options. airBaltic is currently 80% owned by the Latvian state with the remaining shares owned by Danish entrepreneur Lars Thuesen. airBaltic could seek further funding from either of the shareholders but selling a stake to a private equity firm or another airline is also an option. Gauss added that eventually, after the sale of a stake to a private firm, the carrier could list the remaining shares at a stock market through an IPO.