Airbus takes airBaltic‘s A220 on a demo tour in Southeast Asia

Airbus has taken an airBaltic Airbus A220 aircraft for a demo tour in Southeast Asia
Renatas Repcinskas /

Airbus has taken one of airBaltic’s A220 aircraft on a demonstration tour in Southeast Asia, with the aircraft visiting several countries during the first few days.  

The Airbus A220, registered as YL-ABO, left Riga Airport (RIX), Latvia, to begin its journey to the region on May 20, 2023. The aircraft initially stopped at Sharjah International Airport (SHJ), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), before continuing to Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport (DMK), Thailand, where it continued onto Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport (KCH) and Langkawi International Airport (LGK), Malaysia. 

“Excited to showcase the A220 on our South East Asia demo tour with airBaltic,” the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) posted on Twitter on May 22, 2023. 

Airbus delivered YL-ABO in early May 2023. 

This is not the first time that Airbus has taken one of airBaltic’s A220 aircraft on a tour of the other side of the world. In 2019, one of the Latvian airline’s aircraft hopped around the Pacific Islands and Oceania, visiting Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea. On the way back to RIX, the Airbus demonstrational tour saw the A220 land in Cambodia and India. 

During another A220 demo tour in 2018 an airBaltic aircraft visited the Zhuhai Airshow in China, later flying to Chengdu, stopping over in Koh Samui, Thailand, Kathmandu, Nepal, and Istanbul, Turkey, before returning to Riga. 

Interestingly, though, airBaltic has previously said that it was forced to wet lease various aircraft from airlines and aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance (ACMI) operators due to the number of grounded Airbus A220 aircraft. The aircraft were grounded due to supply issues relating to the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engine, which exclusively powers the A220. 

“We are strongly committed to our contractual obligations to passengers and partners. However, the extended turnaround times for Pratt & Whitney servicing the engines are causing operational disruption for airBaltic,” commented Martin Gauss, the resident, and chief executive officer (CEO) of airBaltic in March 2023. 

According to data, 11 out of 41 aircraft of the type are currently inactive. Furthermore, according to data, the Latvian airline has wet leased another 11 Airbus A220s to three different customers, Swiss International Air Lines (seven aircraft), SAS (one), and Eurowings (three).  

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