Latvian national airBaltic airline intends to gradually update its fleet with Bombardier CS300 aircraft. The airline plans to sell its owned Boeing 737, says Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic.
He said airBaltic’s fleet consists of thirteen Boeing 737. Four of them are leased and nine are owned by the company. After updating its fleet, airBaltic’s Boeing 737 aircraft will be sold. The current business plan provides that airBaltic’s fleet will consist of Bombardier aircraft after 2020.
The airline also intends to increase passenger turnover from three million to four million by 2021. The planned fleet size is 34 aircraft.
Gauss explained that it is planned to receive two new CS300 aircraft this year, six in 2017, eight in 2019 and the four remaining ones in 2020.
He added that performance of the new aircraft will be better what was previously promised by Bombardier in terms of fuel consumption and ability to cover large distances. With its new aircraft, airBaltic can now easily perform flights to far-away destinations like Abu Dabi.
In regards to the funding behind the fleet’s modernization, Gauss added that the firs aircraft were paid for using private investments and state funds. Decisions in regards to future payments will be made soon. One potential partner in this regard is Canadian Export Development Canada credit company.
At the same time, Gauss added that it is important for the aircraft to be added to the airline’s balance.
He also noted that the state has begun searching for a strategic investor for airBaltic.
At the moment, airBaltic performs flights with 25 aircraft – thirteen Boeing 737 and twelve Bombardier Q400 NextGen.
As it is known, airBaltic presented the world’s first CS300 aircraft this week.
The world’s first commercial Bombardier CS300 aircraft was presented at Riga airport on Wednesday, 30 November. The new CS300 aircraft with a total of 145 seats, offers excellent flying experience with such benefits for passengers as wider seats, larger windows, more hand luggage space in the cabin, improved lavatories and other. New aircraft is also much quieter – with four times smaller noise footprint.
AirBaltic plans to commence flights using the new aircraft on 14 December. The first commercial flight will be performed to Amsterdam.
Latvia’s national airline has ordered a total of 20 CS300 aircraft, which are the largest CSeries aircraft.