Why AirBaltic launched the worlds first A220 only fleet

AirBaltic, you’ve probably heard of the airline but you most likely have no idea what country it’s the flag carrier of. It’s an airline of neon green and that of a country that invented denim jeans, it’s also an airline that was severely impacted by the virus and briefly had to suspend all of their operations. So what have they been up to?

AirBaltic is actually not a bad airline, it is ranked 4/10 by customers on SkyTrax only being beat by world-class airlines like North Korea’s Air Koryo (6/10). With all of it’s raving reviews and the virus situation the airline has decided to retire it’s oldest aircraft. These aircraft include 3 737-300’s which are approaching their 21st birthday as well as their 12 Bombardier Dash 8 400’s, the oldest being 10 years old and the youngest only 6. So what’s the plan for Air Baltic?

Well, with the expectation that the aviation industry isn’t going to pick up anytime soon the Lativation airline has placed all of the load on their 22 A220-300’s (with 30 options). The new fleet only has an average age of 1.9 years, easily outdoing the 20.7 average age of the 737-300, it also offers bigger windows, better toilets among other things. The question for AirBaltic is: will it have enough capacity for when the world gets back to normal? Will they use their options? And why did they retire a 6-year-old plane?


The airliner of choice for AirBaltic image credit

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Awww :(

No more classic 737s…

Looks really nice in Infinite Flight though…

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@Tsumia where you at

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I never knew Air Baltic retired their Bombardier Dash-8’s. I will miss them a lot and it could possibly impact any regional flights / routes.

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The A220 is the perfect airplane for the relaunch (as we can see as well at SWISS) and world very well for Air Baltic. Also some leases might be in order with airlines who don’t have small airplanes which can deliver a great performance (e.g. distance wise).

And for passengers it’s a great step with the fantastic cabin of the A220. I hip e the plans work out for the airline, but sadly even there redundancies have been made, which makes this whole story less fun among other things.

It is mostly from people who get mad that they actually check if your luggage or carry-on fits the requirements. Air Baltic isn’t a premium airline, so I don’t understand why anyone would think that they will tolerate anything that’s overweight.

I’m glad I got the chance to fly it at least. Sad they’re gone but it’s still the A220. :^)

Hello.

I’m a little disappointed because of that. I really don’t know how they would fill an entire A220 on their Liepaja-Riga route just saying. I guess a less prevelant schedule would do the trick. Now there’s no chance for me to fly their Q400 now.

Exactly. Air Baltic is not a full-service airline. It’s important and I’ll say it again. Air Baltic, is not a full-service airline.

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what was it again? A full service airline?

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I have flown Wizz Air and Air Baltic both on the route from London to Riga and I can say that the service isn’t that different. I didn’t really realise that Air Baltic wasn’t a full-service airline but it is definitely more I C O N I C then Wizz

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I salute you

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Air Baltic is retiring Dash-8’s at 6 years!? This is an outrage! These perfectly good aircraft are being retired, and yet they still have 20 (or more) years of useful, reliable service. Why!?

I want to see how this turns out once the virus is gone, how will they fill everything on only A220’s?

I will gladly have their dash-8s if they don’t want them 🤷‍♂️

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All A220s

this is a dream airline

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I’d be happy to have all their Dash-8’s and start an airline if my own.

Nah, I would give them to FDS :)

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I remember flying on an Air Baltic 757. Its looking like a much leaner and focused airline now. I think they’re well situated to deal with a post-COVID world.

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WOW !

This sounds great :) Air Baltic is doing a good job 👐 very smart

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20 years old is in no way shape or form old for an aircraft. Why replace an aircraft (the 737-300 which I assume still worked and functioned perfectly) that is only 20, 10 and 6 years old? It literally makes zero sense. Where did this “we must buy new planes if our fleet dare ages 5 years” mentality comes from? Is 5 years old the new 90 years old? 🤢🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

I don’t see an all A220 fleet working. They need smaller jets for those smaller/ less popular routes.

It could work, but I myself just don’t see it happening. They needed to keep those Dash-8’s. My guess is this will hurt the airline more than benefiting it.