Monday, 1 June 2020

Vilnius to Oslo route started by airBaltic

airBaltic's first Oslo service - note flight deck crew refuse to wear masks.                                       Photo airBaltic
 airBaltic fresh from its Latvian government bailout has launched a new direct flight between Vilnius and.  The service will be flown by Airbus A220 aircraft as the airline has retired its fleet of Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400's due to the downturn in business caused by the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.  

Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic: "Until the crisis began, we provided the best connectivity to and from all three Baltic capitals. Now we return with a clear target to maintain our positions in Lithuania and the Baltics. The new route has seen a significant demand by our passengers."

"The safety and health of our passengers, our employees and the society stand above all. All airBaltic passengers on board are provided with a facemask and disinfectant wipes. Our dedicated and professional airBaltic team will continue work in order to safeguard airline’s smooth operations," Gauss added.

airBaltic now requires all passengers and crew to wear a face mask for the entire duration of the flight and whilst at the airport. Something which the flight deck crew of the first Oslo flight failed to do, thereby putting themselves and others at risk. 

airBaltic's Airbus A220-300 aircraft are equipped with a modern environmental control system where airborne pathogens from the cabin air are eliminated when the air passes through high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that provides the best level of filtration available for cabin air. Filtered air is mixed with the outside air that is heated in engines. Airflow is supplied from above the overhead compartment flowing towards the floor, eliminating airflow along the cabin to minimize the air transmission amongst passengers.

After each return flight, the airline carefully cleans all commonly used surfaces such as armrests, backrests, meal tray tables, seatbelt latches, air and light switches, overhead bin handles, galleys and toilets. Also every night the airline performs a more in-depth disinfection, and twice a week each aircraft goes through full cabin disinfection including ceiling, walls and other surfaces.

Each airBaltic passenger will receive a complimentary Basic care kit including a protective face mask and two disinfecting wipes. So if passengers want to change the mask during the flight, they can take off the old mask, put it in the Basic care kit envelope for disposal by the cabin crew, clean their hands with one of the wipes and then put on a new mask.

Unlike many other European airlines that are temporarily halting food services, airBaltic will continue to offer a limited selection of food and drinks which passengers will be able to select from a disposable menu card which the cabin crew will hand out to Economy class passengers. In Business class meal service is included.  All products are prepared and packed separately in the carriers kitchen under strict hygiene standards.  Payment with card only. No cash payment accepted on board.

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