In the past two weeks, airBaltic’s bookings increased by nearly 500% compared to the first full week of May. In total, passengers made 13,000 new reservations over the last fortnight. While this may be a positive surge following the easing of restrictions, it is still only a fraction of bookings from before the crisis.
Huge jump, but nowhere near pre-crisis
The good news was delivered by airBaltic in a statement issued Monday. The airline is slowly ramping operations back up, having relaunched international travel between the three Baltic capitals on May 18th.
It has also added several European destinations, including a new route from Vilnius to Oslo, with more to come in the following weeks.
While the significant jump in numbers is, of course, cause for rejoicing, airBaltic’s CEO Martin Gauss is quick to note that it is only a small portion of what booking numbers looked like pre-COVID.
“During the last two months, while flying was not possible, we had very few new bookings. We already expected that it would change once we are able to fly again. Although we have a positive momentum, it still is only a fraction of bookings airBaltic had before the crisis.”
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the airline’s weekly revenue for ticket bookings was about €10 million ($10.9 million).
4,315 passengers first week back
During the first week of airBaltic resuming scheduled commercial traffic, it carried 4,315 passengers. The routes from Riga to Frankfurt and Oslo, as well as from Tallinn to Amsterdam, proved to be the most in-demand once flights were back in the air.
“It is our main aim to connect Baltics to the world, and we are glad to resume flights to major European business hubs,” Martin Gauss further commented in the statement. The airBaltic CEO has previously expressed that he is already planning for post-COVID expansion. The airline is even in talks with Airbus to accelerate the delivery of new A220 aircraft.
Training resumed at Liepāja Airport
airBaltic has resumed more than just commercial passenger traffic in the past few days. Last week, the carrier’s pilot academy restarted its practical training with three aircraft at Liepāja International Airport in Latvia. Seven cadets swap every week to follow new health safety guidelines.
Usually, seven aircraft would be used in the training of the 60 active students. Most of these aspiring pilots are from Latvia, but a few other EU-member states are also represented.
Obligatory temperature checks and masks
It is not only the pilot cadets who are subject to health measures. Passengers with airBaltic are also required to observe several precautionary steps. Firstly, the carrier performs temperature checks, and no one registering at above 37.8°C is allowed to travel.
Secondly, all passengers with airBaltic are given a complimentary basic care kit, which contains disinfecting wipes and a protective face mask. They are then required to wear the mask at all times while onboard the aircraft.
Will you be traveling with airBaltic soon? Are you planning to book tickets in the following weeks with another airline, or do you have reservations about flying now? Let us know in the comments.