airBaltic Secures Major Airbus A220-300 Order at Dubai Airshow 2023
Latvian carrier airBaltic has made a significant move at the Dubai Airshow 2023, placing the first Airbus order of the event. The airline signed a firm agreement to purchase 30 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, along with purchase rights for an additional 20. This order is a pivotal step in airBaltic’s growth strategy, aiming to expand its A220 fleet to 100 aircraft by 2030. The decision underlines the airline’s commitment to the A220 model and its vision for a substantial fleet expansion in the coming years.
This latest agreement follows previous speculation about an order, which had been rumored since the Paris Airshow earlier this year. The formalization of this deal at the Dubai Airshow marks a timely strategic decision for airBaltic, with deliveries of the new aircraft scheduled to begin in 2026. The expansion of its A220 fleet aligns with airBaltic’s operational goals and fleet modernization plans.
An Ambassador for the Airbus A220
As the world’s only operator with an all-A220 fleet, airBaltic has become a prominent advocate for this single-aisle jet. The airline’s A220s are a regular feature at major international airshows, showcasing the aircraft’s capabilities and benefits to potential customers. Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International, Christian Scherer, expressed gratitude to airBaltic for its continuous support and endorsement of the A220. He acknowledged the significant role the aircraft has played in airBaltic’s success and growth, praising the extension of their partnership through this new order.
airBaltic’s reliance on the A220 has been a cornerstone of its recent growth, including the opening of a new base in the Canary Islands and the launch of 11 new routes for Summer 2024. The airline’s latest financial results, indicating its highest-ever half-year revenue, further underscore the success of its streamlined fleet strategy.
Future Plans for airBaltic’s Expanding Fleet
Despite facing operational challenges over the summer due to engine maintenance issues, airBaltic CEO Gauss reported that these problems are easing. The airline had to resort to wet-leasing to maintain capacity during periods of aircraft unavailability. However, as the situation improves, airBaltic is looking forward to fully utilizing its fleet for operations.
The expansion of the A220 fleet is expected to augment airBaltic’s existing operations across the Baltics. Gauss highlighted the lucrative aspect of wet-leasing aircraft, a business segment that the airline plans to grow with the arrival of more A220s. Furthermore, airBaltic is eyeing expansion in the Nordics, with plans to establish more bases in Europe, though specific locations are yet to be announced.
A New Chapter for airBaltic’s Fleet and Operations
airBaltic’s significant order for Airbus A220-300s at the Dubai Airshow 2023 signals a new chapter in the airline’s journey, emphasizing its commitment to fleet modernization and operational growth. With plans to operate a fleet of 100 A220s by 2030, how do you see this expansion influencing airBaltic’s position in the European aviation market? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.