airBaltic Outlines Huge 2021 Summer Schedule Increases

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airBaltic has shared its summer schedule for 2021 with a significant increase in routes. The airline announced on July 8th that its passengers would be able to book over 80 routes next year, including to some new destinations.

airBaltic A220
airBaltic is preparing for summer 2021 with a new route network. Photo: Getty Images

airBaltic’s summer schedule for 2021

While airlines are, of course, conscious of their long term strategy, the focus for many right now is on their immediate future. With aircraft grounded and the world beginning to open up, sustainability in the short term is vital. However, some airlines are already starting to set out significant expansion.

One such airline is airBaltic. It’s shared plans for next year’s summer schedule with the hope of taking passengers to some 82 destinations. As part of its growth, airBaltic has added 15 seasonal routes for next year. These were the services it says were postponed due to the pandemic.

Included in the route network, airBaltic has five new routes in 2021 to:

  • Yekaterinburg, Russia from March 31st;
  • Stavanger, Norway from April 27th;
  • Yerevan, Armenia from May 2nd;
  • Trondheim, Norway from June 1st;
  • Manchester, UK from June 2nd.
Riga, airBaltic A220
The airline will offer five new destinations within Europe for summer 2021. Photo: Getty Images

In addition to these new routes, the airline will also increase frequency on existing services, offering customers more choice and flexibility. In total, airBaltic expects that it will provide around a 21% increase next year on its summer service compared to 2020.

New routes for 2020

Despite the difficulties that have come with the coronavirus, airBaltic seems unphased by the growth challenges ahead of it. The airline plans to continue adding to its schedule so that by the end of next month, it will have 69 routes on offer. Services it will announce in the coming weeks include flights between Riga and Warsaw, Budapest and Madrid.

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In a statement, CEO of airBaltic Martin Gauss said proudly that,

“So far, 2020 has been full of challenges, but[…] we continue to focus on expansion of our operation. Already a year ahead, we have announced the plans for our new network, and in combination with our new ticket types, our passengers can book the tickets to more than 80 routes with confidence.”

airBaltic A220
Moving to an A220-only fleet, airBaltic can be confident of its success. Photo: Getty Images

It’s apparent that airBaltic will not be deterred from its expansion, and, for its viability, the carrier must surely thank its government. On July 4th, the airline received a €250m ($281m) bailout after the EU commission approved it. Speaking at that time, the airline said it was putting its energy and funding into realizing its Destination 2025 CLEAN – an improved five-year strategy.

How can airBaltic guarantee success?

airBaltic has ambition, but it also has a good strategy for success. The airline recently rebranded as an Airbus A220-only airline, which will have a positive knock-on effect in months to come. With a single-type fleet, airBaltic will save on costs from training but has also upped its capacity, moving away from less efficient models like the Boeing 737-300.

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What’s more, the airline experienced a surge in bookings in May with 13,000 reservations made in two weeks. The demand for its services is still there, the government supports it, and the airline itself is taking steps to provide a better service. Altogether, this puts it in a firm position.

What do you think of airBaltic’s strategy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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