airBaltic is to sell six Boeing 737 aircraft by the winter season. The Latvian flag carrier currently operates eight older Boeing 737 aircraft. The aircraft will be sold as airBaltic looks to become an all-Airbus A220-300 operator.
While some airlines are looking to hold on to their older Boeing 737s amid the MAX crisis, this is not a problem airBaltic currently has. The carrier is soon to receive its 20th Airbus A220-300 aircraft. As such, it is in a position to retire its older aircraft without impacting fleet size.
Six airBaltic Boeing 737s for sale
airBaltic currently operates eight Boeing 737 aircraft. Of these, six are owned by the airline and two are leased, according to the airline’s CEO, Martin Gauss. He tells me that the last flight of a 737 owned by airBaltic will take place in November. However, he was unable to give an exact date for this.
He goes on to tell me that “over the winter season we will have less aircraft”. However, while selling six Boeing 737 aircraft by November, the carrier is also due to receive three new Airbus A220-300 aircraft by the start of the winter season. This will be topped up with new Airbus A220-300s after the New Year.
Two aircraft leased
Along with the six 737 aircraft which the airline is looking to sell, airBaltic also leases two Boeing 737s. According to airfleets.net, one is leased from BBAM, while another is leased from Gecas. Mr. Gauss tells me that the lease for these two aircraft expires in the summer of 2020.
As a result, airBaltic will be hanging onto these aircraft until next summer. Gauss goes on to mention that the aircraft will continue flying occasionally as and when needed. This could, for example, see a Boeing 737 operating a flight if an Airbus A220 requires maintenance.
As such, while the last 737 aircraft owned by airBaltic will take its final passenger flight by November, we could still see airBaltic branded 737s in the sky until summer 2020. Mr. Gauss adds that summer 2020 will be the final date before the Boeing 737s will be retired.
Airbus A220-300 replacement
airBaltic is retiring the Boeing 737s as they are receiving a host of new Airbus A220 aircraft. While airBaltic’s 737 fleet has an average age of 20.5 years, their A220 fleet is being delivered brand new.
According to Gauss, the new Airbus A220 fleet is “the greenest narrow-body jet available.” The aircraft has a 2-3 layout, with a small business class cabin toward the front. The aircraft may be small, but it has an impressive range. In fact, airBaltic is operating the aircraft all the way to Abu Dhabi, a flight which takes six hours.
Will you miss airBaltic’s Boeing 737s? Let us know in the comments!