The Latvian government-backed airline airBaltic has confirmed it will call time on its Boeing 737 operations ahead of schedule.
The firm says its Boeing 737 fleet will be withdrawn from scheduled operation in the autumn of 2019, that is 12 months ahead of the firm’s original plan. Towards the end of 2018, airBaltic phased out three of its Boeing 737-500 aircraft and currently operates six Boeing 737-300 and two Boeing 737-500 jets.
The airline says it wants to minimise fleet complexity as well as take full advantage of the additional efficiencies of operating a single type jet fleet will achieve. Once all the older 737’s are removed from operations airBaltic will be left with Bombardier Q400 turboprops while the jet of choice with will be Airbus A220-300.
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.”
airBaltic has received fourteen of its Airbus A220-300 orders and eight new aircraft will join the fleet later this year. The Airbus A220-300 has performed way beyond airBaltic’s expectations, delivering better overall performance, fuel efficiency and convenience for both passengers and staff.
The Airbus A220-300, formally known as the Bombardier CSeries CS300, offers an excellent flying experience with wider seats, larger windows, more hand luggage space in the cabin, improved lavatories and much more than any other aircraft in its class. The new aircraft is also considerably quieter – with a four times smaller noise footprint. It is also one of the greenest commercial aircraft flying in the world today.
airBaltic serves more than 70 destinations from Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, offering the largest variety of destinations and convenient connections via Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, the CIS and the Middle East. In summer 2019, airBaltic will introduce five new destinations from Riga to Dublin, Stuttgart and Lviv as well as Kos and Menorca. The company also operates a number of holiday charter flights with its A220 aircraft to many summer sun destinations around the Mediterranean.