airBaltic sees impressive growth in profits for 2023, forecasts more for 2024   


Latvian carrier airBaltic has announced impressive performance figures for 2023 and is forecasting more success for 2024. In a press conference held in Riga on March 5, 2024, executives from the all-Airbus A220-300 operator presented profitable figures for 2023 along with a host of other facts and figures confirming that the Riga-based carrier continues to go from strength to strength.  

In 2023, airBaltic recorded the highest profit in its 29-year history. The company reported profits of €34 million ($37.4m) for the year, representing a significant increase of €88 million ($96.8m) over the airline’s position at the end of the 2022 financial year. Additionally, airBaltic’s revenue increased to an all-time high of €668 million ($734.8m), an increase of 34% in comparison to 2022.  

airBaltic concluded 2023 with the historically highest EBITDAR (a measure of profitability that excludes certain allowable costs) of €159 million ($175m), exceeding the 2022 figure by 76 million. In 2023, the number of passengers carried by airBaltic soared by 36% to 4.5 million passengers. Additionally, the airline performed a total of 65.5 thousand flights, representing an increase of 30% more than in 2022.  

Bjoern Wylezich / Shutterstock

“2023 was a very successful year of growth for airBaltic,” said Martin Gauss, President and CEO of airBaltic. “With a record-breaking revenue of well above half a billion euros, the highest profit in the company’s history, impressive record EBITDAR of EUR 159 million, and other positive business indicators, airBaltic has surpassed the pre-pandemic level.” 

“airBaltic has started 2024 on a strong note, and currently, our focus is on continuing our path to a potential initial public offering (IPO). Our core objectives remain unchanged – to ensure the best connectivity between the Baltics and the world, as well as enhance the passenger experience and deliver a fundamental contribution to the economy,” Gauss added. 

Although the carrier has been hit hard by issues relating to the Pratt& Whitney GTF engines that power its fleet of A220s, the airline managed to keep its serviceable aircraft busy throughout 2023, with an average of 9.8 airframes also operating under wet lease agreements for other carriers such as Swiss and Eurowings.   

In terms of fleet size, airBaltic ended 2023 with 46 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, the highest number of any airline worldwide. The carrier currently operates 47 aircraft of the type with three more planned to join in 2024, thus concluding the airline’s original order for 50 aircraft. In November 2023, the company announced a firm purchase agreement for 30 additional A220-300 aircraft with purchase rights for an additional 20 aircraft of the same type. The airline is also in the process of concluding a wet lease deal for two A319s for the summer of 2024, although did not reveal the source of these aircraft.   

airBaltic is forced to wet lease another four aircraft due to issues with engine turnaround times at Pratt & Whitney facilities
Ingus Kruklitis /

In 2023, airBaltic launched a record number of 38 new routes from its five main operating bases located in Riga (RIX), Tallinn (TLL), Vilnius (VNO), Tampere (TMP), and Gran Canaria (LPA) which is a seasonal base. This figure included routes to 14 destinations not served in 2022.  

As a whole, the airline saw its route network extend to 126 routes in 2023, an increase of 23 over 103 routes in 2022. The carrier currently offers connections to more than 70 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and the Caucasus region from its five main bases. 

airBaltic was established in 1995 with its primary shareholder being the Latvian state, which holds 97.97% of the stock. The carrier currently employs over 2,500 employees.  

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