airBaltic carried 22 per cent more passengers in 2019

Record traffic helped the Latvian carrier to maintain its status as the largest in the Baltics

airBaltic The majority of airline’s passengers fly on the Airbus A220-300 aircraft (airBaltic)

Reinforcing its status as the largest carrier in the Baltics region, Latvian hybrid airline airBaltic carried 5.05 million passengers in 2019, a 22 per cent improvement year-on-year and the highest number of passengers carried in the airline’s 24-year history.

The Riga-based carrier, which is placing its future in the hands of the efficiency of the newest Airbus A220-300 (formerly the Bombardier CS300) aircraft, which will be its only jet type by the end of 2022, took delivery of a total of eight A220s last year. “Already now, the majority of our passengers fly on the Airbus A220-300 aircraft,” says Martin Gauss, chief executive of airBaltic.

Last year airBaltic operated a total of 62,748 flights, 12 per cent more than in 2018. The airline’s load factor was at the level of 76 per cent in 2019, a year in which the airline launched nine new routes.

In 2020, airBaltic is continuing its expansion in the region and will launch 14 new routes, including four new direct destinations from Tallinn, Estonia and five new destinations from Vilnius, Lithuania.

As part of its transition towards a single aircraft type, last year airBaltic became the first airline to obtain a comprehensive maintenance, repair and overhaul approval for the A220-300 type, and has completed its first scheduled C-check on an aircraft. Also, the airline has introduced an A220 Level D full-flight simulator at its Riga Airport training facilities.

The airBaltic fleet is made up of 38 aircraft consisting of 22 Airbus A220-300s, four Boeing 737s and 12 Bombardier Q400Next-Gen turboprop aircraft. By the end of this year the airline plans to have a total of 26 Airbus A220s.

Established in 1995, airBaltic flies to 70 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and the CIS.

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