AirBaltic’s Future: CEO Gauss Envisions Joining a Larger Group

Martin Gauss, the CEO of Latvia's airBaltic, recently shared his perspective on the future of the airline in an interview with Reuters. He suggested that it could make sense for airBaltic to become part of a larger airline group once it has built up enough scale. AirBaltic, which is planning to go public either at the end of this year or in 2025, has been expanding its operations. The airline ordered 30 Airbus A220-300 aircraft last year and currently operates 50 aircraft. Gauss stated that the airline has plans to increase its fleet to 100 aircraft by around 2030 to 2032.


Gauss believes that when airBaltic reaches or exceeds 100 aircraft, it will be large enough that a larger group might consider how it would fit into their operations. However, he also clarified that airBaltic is not currently looking to be bought and is focused on launching its initial public offering. The airline posted its highest-ever profit of 34 million euros ($37 million) last year, benefiting from a post-pandemic surge in travel. Despite this success, airBaltic is also striving to cut debt, with about 200 million euros due within six months.

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Gauss cited the example of Swiss Airlines, which has benefited greatly from being part of the Lufthansa Group. He expressed a desire for airBaltic to follow a similar path, stating, "I'd like to be the Swiss or Iberia," referring to the Spanish airline that is part of IAG.

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In conclusion, Gauss's comments highlight the potential benefits of consolidation in the airline industry. As airBaltic continues to grow and expand its operations, joining a larger group could be a strategic move that enhances its competitiveness and sustainability in the long run.

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