The Airbus A220 is quickly proving to be a popular aircraft for airlines. Over the past few days, we’ve seen David Neeleman’s new airline, Moxy has just ordered 60. Additionally, on the same day, we saw Airbus announce that JetBlue had ordered another 60! Even so, just today Simple Flying reported that Delta had ordered another 15 A220s. However, there is one major A220 airline that we’ve barely touched on. That airline is Air Baltic. Now, Simple Flying investigates Air Baltic and looks at their plans for the new fleet.
Who Is Air Baltic?
Seeing as Simple Flying has not covered Air Baltic before, it only seems right to start with a summary of the airline. Founded in 1995, Air Baltic is marketed as the worlds most punctual airline. This means the airline is now 23 years old. The airline is the flag carrier of Latvia, basing their flights out of Riga. While the government of Latvia owns 80% of the airline, an individual named Lars Thuesen owns the other 20%. The airline currently operates A220s, B737s, and Q400s, however, in the future will switch to only using A220s.
Why The A220?
Air Baltic is opting to operate a fleet which consists solely of the A220 eventually. However, why choose this aircraft? The A220-300 will seat 145 passengers for Air Baltic. At the same time, next-generation engines mean that the plane is efficient and quiet. The airline currently only offers routes which are within the aircraft’s range. Directly compare the A220 with the B737s operated by Air Baltic, and the A220 outperforms almost every single time.
Source: Air Baltic
Number Of Seats
Air Baltic A220 Plans
While it is clear that the A220 is a key part of Air Baltic’s future. There have been talks of another A220 airline being launched in Europe by the carrier. While details are currently sketchy, Skift reports that the airline aims to launch another European airline using 30 A220s. The aim is according to Chief Executive Officer Martin Gauss.
The plan is to replicate the successful business plan currently being employed out of Riga. Conveniently, Air Baltic has options on another 30 A220s. According to Skift “Details of the strategy will be revealed when Air Baltic firms up remaining order options for the A220 at the end of the year.” Until 2020 Air Baltic is expecting to receive 12 A220s a year.
When contacted by Simple Flying, Air Baltic didn’t specifically mention the new airline, however, the did tell us: “On May 28, 2018, airBaltic executed a firm purchase agreement for the sale and purchase of 30 Airbus A220-300 aircraft with options for an additional 30 aircraft of the same type. This order complements the existing order of 20 Airbus A220-300 aircraft and forms the backbone of the carrier’s new business plan Destination 2025 that builds on the successful progress of the current business plan Horizon 2021, which has laid the groundwork for future expansion.”
Do you think Simple Flying should review the A220? Let us know in the comments down below!