airBaltic is the Latvian national carrier (80% state ownership) and a hybrid-LCC. It is the first national flag carrier airline to market itself as an LCC. The carrier is based in the Latvian capital Riga and also operates bases in the other Baltic capitals of Vilnius (Lithuania) and Tallinn (Estonia). The airline has also moved away from offering mostly point-to-point services in the Baltic region, and now pursues a network strategy, with Riga International the main hub. Until Jan-2009, airBaltic was 47.2% owned by Scandinavian flag SAS, which Air Baltic Corporation purchased. airBaltic maintains close links with SAS, operating frequent services to the latter's hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm thereby operating a ‘dual hub’ system with Riga. The airline operates scheduled services to destinations in Europe, the Middle East and the CIS. Following a share capital increase, the Latvian State holds an 80% in airBaltic, with the remaining stake of approximately 20% owned by Aircraft Leasing 1 SIA (which is owned by Danish entrepreneur Lars Thuesen). airBaltic is the launch customer of the Airbus A220-300, with plans of introducing an all-Airbus fleet of 50 A220-300 aircraft by 2022.
On 07-May-2020, Latvia's Cabinet of Ministers approved investment of up to EUR250 million into airBaltic's equity, to support the company in overcoming the economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Latvian state's shareholding in airBaltic will increase from 80.05% to 91%.
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