airBaltic To Ramp Up European Routes

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On Friday, airBaltic announced that it is launching a new route next week from Vilnius to Oslo. As travel restrictions are eased, the airline is also resuming flights from Riga to four European destinations, and from Tallinn to three capital cities.

airBaltic A220
airBaltic opens up a new route from Vilnius to Oslo. Photo: Getty Images

Europe is opening up to airBaltic

In three separate press releases focused on each of the Baltic capitals, Latvian carrier, airBaltic announced the launch of a new route and the resumption of flights to European cities.

Vilnius

The Vilnius press release stated that airBaltic was planning to open up a new route on 28th May with direct flights from Vilnius to Oslo. The twice-weekly services between the cities will operate on Thursdays and Sundays. Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic, said the below:

“The new route has seen a significant demand by our passengers.”

The airline restarted daily flights from the Lithuanian capital to Riga on 18th May and services to Tallinn resume tomorrow.

airBaltic A220 taking off
airBaltic reopens many European routes. Photo: Jevgenijs Slihto via Flickr 

Riga

For Riga, Mr. Gauss said that having received special permission from the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Latvia, airBaltic will resume direct flights from Riga to Amsterdam on 25th May, Hamburg on 1st June, Vienna on 8th June, and Dusseldorf on 9th June.

Services connecting Riga with Tallinn and Vilnius resumed last week, and the airline operates special daily flights to Frankfurt and Oslo. Flights from the Latvian capital to Helsinki, Munich, and Berlin will begin again shortly.

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Tallinn

The third announcement by airBaltic revealed that flights will restart from Tallinn to Paris on 1st June, Vienna on 2nd June, and Berlin on 4th June. The airline already offers direct flights from Estonia to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Oslo.

Martin Gauss said the following, as per the press release:

“Until the crisis began, we provided the best connectivity to and from all three Baltic capitals. Now we return with a clear target to maintain our positions in Lithuania and the Baltics.” He added, “By June 9, we will connect Baltics with more than ten European destinations. By focusing on an all-Airbus A220-300 fleet, we are well-positioned for the restart.”

Earlier this month, the airline secured a $274 million investment from the Latvian government.

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airBaltic A220 tail
Passenger and crew safety is a priority for airBaltic. Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns via Flickr

Safe flying post-COVID-19

As Europe slowly emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, regulations are rapidly changing and vary between countries. Passengers booking airBaltic’s newly opened routes are advised to check rules and airport restrictions before flying. In the short term, the airline is allowing customers to change their flights free of charge.

Onboard airBaltic flights, all passengers are will receive face masks and disinfectant wipes. Mr. Gauss stated the following, according to the release:

“The safety and health of our passengers, our employees and the society stand above all. Our new flight operations follow the recommendations issued by authorities,”

airBaltic’s streamlined fleet

Having severely scaled back its services during the pandemic, airBaltic has decided to retire its three aging Boeing 737-300s and 12 Dash 8-400s. The airline’s streamlined fleet is now focused on its 22 Airbus A220-300s.

However, the company is not planning to stand still. While many airlines are canceling or deferring orders for new aircraft, airBaltic wants to bring forward the delivery of its new A220s. As it reopens routes, the airline is laying the foundations for rapid post-COVID-19 expansion.

What are your thoughts on airBaltic’s operations this summer? Will you be flying on any of these services? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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