July marked airBaltic’s first full month of flights since it became the first airline to suspend operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just how many passengers has the Latvian carrier transported in that month? New figures released by the airline today showed that each flight had an average load factor of around 38%.
At Simple Flying, we’re glad to see the recovery of the aviation industry gathering pace following a truly unprecedented crisis. One airline that has found the crisis transformative is Latvia’s airBaltic. The airline now operates the youngest significant fleet, having switched to an all-A220 model.
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38% load factor
airBaltic today revealed its operating figures for June. The airline was operating a much-reduced service throughout the month, consisting of just 1,091 flights, roughly 36 a day. Interestingly, these flights operated on 36 different routes, meaning, on average, for June, each route was operated daily.
Across these 1,091 flights, airBaltic carried 60,409 passengers in total. To put this into perspective, Frankfurt Airport handled 201,328 passengers per day in April 2019. Last month we sat down with airBaltic’s CEO, Martin Gauss, and discussed how the airline was now operating the world’s youngest significant fleet with only Airbus A220 aircraft.
As such, we know that each aircraft can seat 145 passengers. We can do the maths to work out that the airline had an average of 55 passengers on each flight. As such, the load factor of each trip was 38% on average. Of course, some flights will have had fewer passengers, with others having more. Of the airline’s fleet of 22 Airbus A220s, 14 had been reactivated when we caught up with Gauss last month.
Commenting on the figures, the airline’s CEO Martin Gauss said,
“June was the first full month since we resumed our operations on May 18. It is evident that demand for flights is returning. Each week we carry a growing number of passengers and receive more new reservations.”
A fascinating transition
airBaltic has gone through an unexpected transformation as a result of the current pandemic. However, the results are exciting. The airline has now been planning to become an all-Airbus A220 operator for some time. However, when it became the first airline to suspend operations in late March, their older Boeing 737 and Dash-8 aircraft took their final flights.
As a result of the aircraft types’ retirements, airBaltic’s oldest aircraft is now just 3.6 years old. With all the aircraft the airline has taken delivery in those 3.6 years, the average age of the fleet is only 1.9 years old. It should remain low as the airline plans to continue receiving its Airbus A220 orders over the coming years.
Have you flown with airBaltic since they returned to the skies? What did you think of the flight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!