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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 25.09.2022, 14:12

Last obstacle for the government to take over Estonian Air from SAS disappeared

Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn, 09.09.2010.Print version
Estonian national carrier Estonian Air concluded an agreement on buying new planes with Bombardier, thus fulfilling the last condition that the Estonian government had set for buying out the national carrier from SAS, LETA/Postimees writes.

“We have achieved an agreement with Bombardier,” economy ministry deputy chancellor Ahti Kuningas told Postimees, adding that they will be announcing the details in a few days time. “First we will sign the contrast and then we will have a public show.”


Kuningas, who headed the talks between the Estonian state and SAS said though that Estonian Air will buy three new planes from the Canadian plane producer. Estonian Air has been waiting for the new planes, that are more economical than the current Boeings, for almost two years.


The three Bombardier planes played a major role in stalling the talks the Estonian government and SAS had this summer. The government and SAS had signed a joint intentions protocol already in May. SAS would have kept a 10% stake in Estonian Air, Estonian state would have gotten 90% and would have had to invest 280 mln kroons in Estonian Air. The government announced in June though that it won’t agree to take over the company before the fate of the 12 mln USD that was paid as downpayment for the new planes to Bombardier is clear. Estonian Air had taken that money as a loan from SAS. Since the company’s financial state was not good, the purchase was delayed.


Estonian Air and Bombardier will soon announce the transaction officially. “The main conditions of buying new planes have been agreed upon, and we will give more detailed info on that in the coming days,” said Estonian Air’s spokeswoman Ilona Eskelinen yesterday.


After the plane purchase is complete, most likely the official agreement of the government and SAS will follow.


Currently Estonian Air belongs to SAS (49%), the Estonian state (34%) and investment bank Cresco (17%).

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