airBaltic is planning to launch a maintenance training facility for A220 mechanics. The facility would complement its A220 pilot training facility and comes as the Latvian carrier seeks to rapidly expand its A220 maintenance capabilities.
Last year, airBaltic made the switch to being an all-Airbus A220 carrier with the retirement of its last Q400s and Boeing 737s. This plan had always been on the cards but was sped up due to the lack of demand prompted by the current situation afflicting the aviation industry. However, airBaltic wants to take its A220 capabilities to the next level.
Establishing maintenance training
Yesterday, airBaltic revealed that it intends to establish a maintenance program as a new section of its ‘airBaltic Training’ division. It will join the airline’s A220 pilot training program. The airline wants to split the maintenance training organization into two categories. Firstly, the airline will train professionals with no prior aviation experience from scratch.
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However, airBaltic is also planning to provide type related training specifically for the Airbus A220. In this category, it won’t just train its own, but also mechanics from other A220 operators. Two groups of eight students are expected to start the programs towards the start of next month. The airline’s experienced technicians will train them.
Commenting on the move, Pauls Cālītis, COO of airBaltic said,
“Over the years, we have done a lot in order to prepare the future aviation professionals in Latvia… Today we are taking the next step and are open to technicians of various background joining the course. We will now train airBaltic technicians for work on the Airbus A220 ourselves and look forward to training technicians also from other airlines.”
Becoming an authority for A220s
This latest announcement is just a part of airBaltic’s goals to cement itself as an Airbus A220 authority. Last week Simple Flying reported that the Latvian airline is seeking to build a new A220 maintenance hangar at its Riga home. Aiming to complete construction by the start of 2024, airBaltic says that the facility will be able to hold up to seven A220-300s. Of course, the smaller A220-100 will also fit in.
With this new facility, airBaltic hopes to service its own fleets and those of other A220 operators. As airBaltic only operates the A220, it makes sense for the airline to focus on maintaining the type. However, for some other carriers where the A220 is only a fraction of the fleet, such as EgyptAir, it would make sense to use another organization for heavy maintenance, rather than holding a small pool of such mechanics.
Are you excited to see airBaltic increasing its authority as an Airbus A220 operator? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!