On its way to a single-type Airbus A220 operations, Latvian hybrid airline airBaltic has successfully passed its audit for Base Maintenance Capability approval in a test carried out by the civil aviation authority (CAA) of Latvia for the Airbus A220-300 aircraft type (formerly the Bombardier CS300). The Riga-based company is also considering offering MRO services to other operators of the type.
The certification allows airBaltic to provide full-scale EASA Part-145 line maintenance and base maintenance checks for the aircraft type.
Thus airBaltic is the first airline with this maintenance capability and only the second such maintenance organisation in the world, after Maastricht-based Samco, entitled to provide a full scope of maintenance, both EASA Part-145 line maintenance and base maintenance, for the Airbus A220-300 aircraft type. Previously, airBaltic was only a line maintenance provider for the A220, the Bombardier Q400 NextGen and the Boeing 737 types.
Andris Vaivads, senior vice-president of technical operations at airBaltic, enthuses: “Obtaining line and base maintenance certification for the Airbus A220-300 type is a logical step for airBaltic which is the global launch operator of the Airbus A220-300, with 19 already in its fleet and which is moving towards a single-type Airbus A220-300 fleet in the near future. As a result, our maintenance will become more cost and time effective. Also, we are considering offering our maintenance services worldwide to other airlines operating this type of aircraft.”
Preparations for the base maintenance audit started almost a year ago and involved, amongst other rigours, a thorough check of the scope of maintenance work, the purchasing of the necessary materials and tools, the hiring and training of new personnel, as well as facility preparation such as new stores, an increase of component workshops, and the overall development of the maintenance facility.
The airBaltic fleet currently consists of 39 aircraft – 19 Airbus A220-300s, eight Boeing 737CLs and 12 Bombardier Q400Next Gen turboprops.
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