Continuing with the policy of exploiting its neighbouring markets, Latvian hybrid airline airBaltic is to increase to 12 the number of direct services it is offering from the Estonian capital Tallinn, as announced in its first destinations for the IATA summer season of 2019.
In doing so, the airline will compete with Estonia’s national airline Nordica, which currently retains its leading, 26 per cent share, of flights departing from Tallinn.
The announcement reveals that, from next season, airBaltic will continue to expand its offer from Tallinn, by adding new flights to Malaga, Brussels and Copenhagen, starting June 2019. In addition, airBaltic is to add scheduled flights to Stuttgart from Riga starting from April, 2019.
“This year we launched three new destinations from Tallinn to London, Stockholm and Oslo. With another three destinations added in 2019, we will serve a total of 12 direct services out of Tallinn,” Martin Gauss, airBaltic’s chief executive explains.
In the first seven months of 2018, airBaltic has already transported 2.33 million passengers – 19 per cent up year-on-year. The month of July saw a record high, with 452,646 passengers travelling on airBaltic flights.
During the first seven months of 2018 airBaltic operated a total of 31,845 flights and the airline’s load factor in July reached 86 per cent, an increase on the first seven months’ average of 76 per cent.
In the meantime, in line with a fleet modernisation programme and its strategy to become an all-Airbus A220-300 (formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries 300 aircraft) operator, the airline has now appointed the London, Gatwick-based surplus aircraft specialist Air Partner Remarketing as the sales agent for its three 1992-vintage 120-seat Boeing 737-500s.
airBaltic was the first airline in the world to introduce the brand new Airbus A220-300 aircraft and by the end of 2018, the Riga-based airline plans to have a total of 14 of the former CS300 type in its fleet out of 20 it has on original order. This year, the carrier announced a long-term firm purchase agreement for 30 of the Bombardier-turned Airbus aircraft, with options for an additional 30.
The airBaltic fleet currently consists of 32 aircraft: nine of the new Airbus/Bombardier CS300s, 11 Boeing 737s and 12 Bombardier Q400NG turboprops.
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