airBaltic has revealed plans to build a new maintenance hangar at Riga Airport. The facility, spanning 34,500 square meters, will store up to seven Airbus A220-300 aircraft at any one time. The airline is hoping to finish construction by the end of 2023.
Based in Riga, airBaltic was the launch customer of the Airbus A220-300. Since its first delivery, the airline has gone on to retire its last remaining 737s and Q400s, making the A220 its only aircraft type. As such, it has one of the youngest fleets in the world. However, it needs new facilities to maintain the fleet.
A brand new hangar
airBaltic today revealed that it had signed a building rights agreement with Riga Airport last year to construct a new hangar at the facility. The portion of land earmarked for construction is 2.85 hectares, with 34,500 square meters being allocated to the hangar itself.
The hangar will be able to accommodate seven A220-300s, with airBaltic suggesting that they might not just be in the airBaltic livery. Construction is due to begin towards the start of next year, with an aimed completion date before 2024.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
Commenting on the new facility, airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss said,
“The new hangar has been in our plans for years, as part of our future expansion. As the Airbus A220 customer base is growing, we will also be offering heavy maintenance to customers worldwide. It will be one of the largest and most modern aircraft hangars in the region.”
A hub for A220 maintenance
The new hangar will allow airBaltic to continue to complete in-house maintenance on its fleet of A220 aircraft, in addition to offering maintenance to other Airbus A220 operators. The airline just yesterday revealed that it has so far completed seven C checks on its own A220-300 fleet.
For the Airbus A220, the C check needs to be performed every 8,500 flight hours. airBaltic currently has 120 technicians, and 40 are required for a C check. Across its entire A220 fleet, airBaltic has so far operated almost 60,000 flights equating to over 5,900,000 passengers flown and 141,000 block hours.
airBaltic currently has 25 A220-300s, initially delivered as the Bombardier CS300. Its oldest aircraft, YL-CSA, is 4.2 years old, having been delivered in November 2016. Meanwhile, the youngest aircraft, YL-AAX, and YL-AAY are both 0.3 years old, having been delivered in December. Therefore, according to its CEO, the fleet has an average age of just 2.3 years, making it the world’s youngest significant fleet.
airBaltic has been delighted with the performance achieved by the Airbus A220, with the aircraft exceeding its expectations. Gauss previously told Simple Flying that his favorite thing about the aircraft is its efficiency.
What do you think of airBaltic’s A220 maintenance hangar plans? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!