On December 13, 2020, airBaltic welcomed its 24th and 25th Airbus A220-300, which completed the planned deliveries for the company in 2020. 

Two new A220, registered as YL-AAX and YL-AAY, took off from Montréal-Mirabel International Airport (YMX) and landed in Riga International Airport (RIX), tweeted the airline.  

“The Airbus A220-300 has performed beyond the company’s expectations, delivering better overall performance, fuel efficiency and convenience for both passengers and the staff,” said the company’s spokesperson in a press release. 

Airbus A220 is the single aircraft type airBaltic has been operating since May 2020. Its efficiency – designed for a 100-150 seat market and low operating costs – matched the airline’s needs during the pandemic, the air carrier has outlined. 

Both aircraft are part of the 50 Airbus A220-300s airBaltic has ordered. airBaltic is one of the largest operators of the Airbus A220, coming third after Delta Air Lines and Swiss International Air Lines. 

airBaltic reported having suffered a €185 million loss in the first half of 2020. In May 2020, the Latvian government injected €250 million in the airline’s share capital and converted a €36 million worth of governmental loan into airBaltic’s shares. Despite the losses, airBaltic adapted its “Destination 2025” business plan, which sets a five-year business strategy for a period of 2020-2025. 

The Airbus A220, previously known as the Bombardier CSeries, is manufactured in Mirabel, Canada. The A220 programme, under the ownership of Airbus Canada Limited Partnership, is held by Airbus and the Government of Québec. airBaltic received its first A220 in 2016. 

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airBaltic might need additional money from the Latvian government if the industry does not recover to previous levels until summer 2021.