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.
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.
On the matter, Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic, had the following statement:
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
In his office, Martin Gauss has a shelf indicating the status of airBaltic’s A220 orders.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!