23 September, 2019

airBaltic Receives its 20th Airbus A220-300 and wants a US connection.

The Latvian airline airBaltic welcomed its 20th Airbus A220-300 on September 21, 2019, in Riga. The aircraft, with the registration YL-AAT, is the last one from airBaltic's original order. 

By the end of this year, the carrier expects to have 22 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, with those last two coming from a second order it made back in May last year for 30 aircraft and options for 30 more. 

Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “We are delighted to receive our 20th aircraft and finalize the first order. The decision to order the aircraft in 2012 and then become the launch operator of the most modern jet aircraft the Airbus A220-300, was a successful one and we have benefited from it greatly. airBaltic is now on a stable growth path because we have made many important steps for our further development, and our fleet modernization has been one of them. In the future, our fleet will consist only of Airbus A220-300 aircraft and will be one of our strengths and competitive advantages.”

airBaltic has carried over 3,750,000 passengers on its fleet of Airbus A220-300 aircraft so far,  with every second airBaltic passenger flying on the type. The fleet has completed more than 37 000 flights and flown over 94 000 block hours.

The Airbus A220-300 has performed beyond the company’s expectations, delivering better overall performance, fuel efficiency and convenience for both passengers and staff. This aircraft offers an excellent flying experience with such benefits for passengers as wider seats, larger windows, more hand luggage space in the cabin, improved lavatories and much more.

The new aircraft is also considerably quieter – with a four times smaller noise footprint. Moreover, at the moment it is the greenest commercial aircraft in the world, as it is the first aircraft to have a transparent declaration of the life-cycle environmental impact, helping to reduce CO2 and NOX emissions by 20% and 50% respectively.

Whilst the airline has no long-haul aircraft and no plans to buy any, boss Martin Gauss has indicated he wants a connection to the US. Speaking to TPG at the World Routes conference in Adelaide, Australia, he said  “We could fill a flight to New York with passengers,”   however, he's not hopeful of any US carrier starting a flight to Riga, “I wonder if they even know where Riga is,” he told TPG.  Perhaps implying the bosses of the US big three airlines are ignorant, is not the best way to win friends and gain a travel partner. Although Gauss is no stranger to insulting others, last year he accused the British population of being too thick to understand what they were voting for in the UK's referendum on staying or leaving the European Union. 

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