Latvian carrier airBaltic is reportedly eyeing an order for 30 more Airbus A220 aircraft.
The Riga Airport (RIX)-based airline has already received almost all of the 50 aircraft of the type from its previous order and, according to its chairman and chief executive officer Martin Gauss, the new order would see it exercising its contractual options for 30 more aircraft.
Gauss also noted that the airline would be interested in converting some of A220-300 options to the A220-500, according to Reuters, who spoke with Gauss at the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Istanbul, Turkey.
In a previous statement issued to AeroTime, a spokesperson for Airbus said that while the current priority is to ramp-up the production rate for the A220-100 and A220-300, the “A220 stretch is a matter of when and not if, though we are not able to give a timeline”.
In a separate interview with Air Insight at the IATA AGM, Gauss eliminated the possibility of the order taking place at the Paris Air Show later this month, as the airline wants issues related to the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G to be solved first.
“The engines are ok, but P&W is falling short of MRO capacity. Actually, the delays have become bigger again in the past three months,” Gauss told Air Insight.
airBaltic ordered 30 aircraft of the type, when it was still known as the Bombardier CSeries, in May 2018, complementing its previous order of 20 CSeries CS300 jets. The May 2018 order included options for 20 more aircraft, now known as the Airbus A220-300.
It received its 42nd aircraft of the type, registered as YL-ABP, in May 2023. According to ch-aviation.com data, 10 of the 42 A220s are either stored or under maintenance. Furthermore, airBaltic has leased out 12 of its Airbus A220-300 aircraft: three to Eurowings, two to SAS, and seven to Swiss International Air Lines.
In March 2023, Gauss publicly stated that engine turnaround time (TAT) delays during shop visits were to blame for airBaltic wet leasing more aircraft during the upcoming months.
Data from ch-aviation.com shows that the airline currently has nine aircraft leased from various airlines, including Avion Express.