airBaltic Receives Final Airbus A220 From Original Order Of 20

airBaltic has received their final Airbus A220-300 from an original order of 20. However, this is not the end of the line for airBaltic’s A220s. Back in May 2018, airBaltic signed for an additional 30 A220-300s with options for 30 more of the same. airBaltic announced the delivery of their final A220 from this order in a press release.

AirBaltic A220
airBaltic has taken delivery of their final A220-300. Photo: airBaltic

airBaltic’s A220

The motivation for ordering the A220 was as a replacement for airBaltic’s aging Boeing 737 classics. In comparison, the A220 is far more fuel-efficient, quieter, and offers a better inflight passenger experience.

airBaltic A220
The A220 serves as a replacement for the 737-500 while also enabling airBaltic to expand. Photo: Jo Bailey – Simple Flying

On the matter, Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic, had the following statement:

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airBaltic is now on a stable growth path because we have made many important steps for our further development, and our fleet modernization has been one of them. In the future our fleet will consist only of Airbus A220-300 aircraft and will be one of our strengths and competitive advantages

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In his office, Martin Gauss has a shelf indicating the status of airBaltic’s A220 orders.

A220
Mr. Gauss is eagerly tracking Airbus A220 orders. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The ones on the left are delivered A220-300s. The sole A220 in the middle is the 20th that was delivered to airBaltic, and on the right, these are the A220s the carrier has on order.

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What is this aircraft like?

Simple Flying was able to tour airBaltic’s A220-300 at the Paris Air Show this year with CEO Martin Gauss. Take a look at what this brand new aircraft is like:

Containing 145 seats, the Airbus A220-300 is outfitted in a 2-3 configuration. This means fewer of the dreaded middle seats and greater flexibility for families and solo travelers to choose their seating assignment. And, like other European carriers, airBaltic offers a business class which blocks a seat on each side of the aircraft for more space.

Pair of two seats
Pair of two seats on an airBaltic A220. Photo: Jo Bailey – Simple Flying

Although the aircraft does not offer personal seatback entertainment, the overhead panels include a flight tracking system that can update passengers of the aircraft’s position.

inflight tracking
airBaltic A220 overhead inflight map and tracking system. Photo: Jo Bailey – Simple Flying

airBaltic notes that this aircraft offers larger windows and wider seats that help illuminate the cabin and lessen the confinement factor that often comes with flying.

A220 interior
The larger windows on the A220 give the cabin a larger and brighter feel. Photo: Jo Bailey – Simple Flying

With airBaltic’s heavy hand luggage scheme, passengers can rest assured knowing that, onboard, this aircraft offers larger overhead storage space compared to its predecessor, the Boeing 737-300 and -500.

A220 overhead bins
The A220 overhead bins are larger to accommodate more of passengers’ hand luggage. Photo: Jo Bailey – Simple Flying

And, airBaltic bucked the trend of shrinking lavatory sizes (although some are a great place to hide a bat!). Instead, the airline has offered a more spacious facility in comparison to some other airlines.

Airbaltic
airBaltic’s lavatory offers slightly more room to move around compared to other modern planes. Photo: Jo Bailey – Simple Flying

The future

Moving forward, the A220 will make up the entirety of the airBaltic’s fleet by the end of 2022. This makes sense since it reduces operating costs, maintenance costs, and minimizes disruptions in the case of aircraft swaps. To date, the A220-300 has flown over 94,000 block hours with the Latvian carrier on over 37,000 flights!

airBaltic’s plans on only operating A220-300s by the end of 2022. Photo: Jo Bailey – Simple Flying

Growth is definitely on airBaltic’s agenda, and with 30 more of the type on order – with another two expected to arrive by the end of the year – airBaltic has the capability to continue to grow. Time will tell exactly how far and how high the A220 takes airBaltic.

Have you flown on this aircraft? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments!

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Here2go

Based on the A220 counting mechanism Mr Gauss has, that’s 80 A220s, with 20 delivered to date (or an additional 60), not an additional 30 as per the article. Which is right?

Tom Boon

There are 30 additional firm orders and 30 more options as mentioned right at the start of the article. “Back in May, 2018, airBaltic signed for an additional 30 A220-300s with options for 30 more of the same.”

Frank

Gauss is pretty optimistic about taking all 30+30 options, isn’t he?

Tom – do you think Baltic can manage it? Looked around a bit and the original fleet size was 20 aircraft; 8-737’s and 12-Dash 8’s.

Now he has 80 little planes lined up on his credenza. Quadruple the size.

Too much, too fast – or right place, right time (and right aircraft)?

Chuck

I’m afraid airBaltic is expanding too quickly. Should there be a downturn in the economy, they could be stuck with excess capacity. Also, another low cost carrier could make Riga a hub and/or focus city and dilute all the profits. The only way to hedge the bet would be to defer some of the deliveries to a later date. Airbus would be amiable because of its growing A220 back log and also open delivery slots to new and existing clients. airBaltic could also provide wet leasing options to other airlines as in the service it provides to Lufthansa. Not sure… Read more »