airBaltic has announced that Q1 2023 was a record-breaking quarter for the company, with “positive business indicators” exhibited throughout the three-month period.
In total, the Latvian flag carrier earned €104.3 million ($114.7 million) of revenue, 74% more than in Q1 2022. It carried 769,600 passengers in Q1 2023, a significant improvement compared to the 434,700 passengers airBaltic carried in Q1 2022. Furthermore, it operated 8,700 flights throughout the first quarter of 2023, an increase of 28% compared to Q1 2022, with an average load factor of 70.9%. The airline had a load factor of 53.4% during the first three months of 2022.
The 8,700 flights included 94 flights that were performed on behalf of other airlines on short-term wet lease agreements.
“Current indications reflect that the first quarter of 2023 has exceeded our expectations and airBaltic is on the way back to persistent profitability,” commented Martin Gauss, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of airBaltic. Gauss pointed out that the carrier’s goals are “clear”, as it wants to achieve a yearly revenue of €700 million ($769.4 million) and carry up to 4.4 million passengers.
“In this way, the company will return to pre-crisis state and a positive result,” Gauss added. Over the next few months, the carrier will focus on its Initial Public Offering (IPO) but airBaltic’s “core objectives” remain the same, namely that it wants to ensure “the best connectivity between the Baltics” and the world.
airBaltic did not indicate whether Q1 2023 was profitable or loss-making.
In 2022, the Latvian airline earned €500 million ($543.3 million) of revenue, ending the year with a net loss of €54.2 million ($59.4 million), improving on its €135.7 million ($149.1 million) net loss in 2021.
Most recently, airBaltic indicated that it would have to wet lease aircraft from other airlines to avoid operational disruptions due to engine maintenance turnaround time delays at Pratt & Whitney. P&W is the manufacturer of the Pratt & Whitney 1500G engine, which exclusively powers the Airbus A220 aircraft. The airline currently has 39 A220s, 11 of which are either stored or in maintenance, according to ch-aviation.com data.