airBaltic of Latvia is pushing ahead with its fleet rationalisation plan, with it the airline planning to end its Boeing 737 operations in Autumn 2019 – one year ahead of the initial withdrawal plan.
Currently, airBaltic is operating six Boeing 737-300 and two Boeing 737-500 aircraft, with the airline removing three Boeing 737-300s last year.
The airline plans to remove these and move to a single fleet of Airbus A220-300 for its jet operation, with further A220-300 aircraft being used to replace the turboprop operation (currently using Dash 8 Q400 aircraft)
The airline has 14 Airbus A220-300 (Bombardier CS300) in service, with orders for 50, and options for a further 30 frames. According to the airline, the Airbus A220-300 has performed beyond company’s expectations, delivering better overall performance, fuel efficiency and convenience for both passengers and staff.
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic:
“Airbus A220-300 is the aircraft of our future and, by phasing out the Boeing 737, we will have the youngest jet fleet in Europe. The introduction of Airbus A220-300 has been very successful and provided the additional efficiency any airline is seeking in the highly competitive aviation market. Thanks to the good overall performance we took a decision to introduce a single type fleet of up to 80 (50 firm order and 30 options) Airbus A220-300 aircraft by 2022.”
Moving to the single fleet
The move to a single fleet is an interesting one – mainly as it can be seen as a major cost reduction exercise. For the airline, there will be one set of aircraft the engineers have to be licenced for, one maintenance contract and crew (both flight deck and cabin crew) rated for one aircraft type.
For the passenger, it means a constant passenger experience when they board an airBaltic flight. Considering that the A220 offers 18″ width seats, larger windows and more luggage space – this is a welcoming thing.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond – Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, with in-depth coverage, unique research as well as the humour and madness as I only know how to deliver.