Economy & Politics: Why the Latvian airline airBaltic now only uses a fleet of Airbus A220-300

Image: airBaltic Bombardier CS300 at Rīga Airport. Recorded in October 2017. Today airBaltic has still only the modern and fuel efficient Airbus A220-300 in service. Double click on the image to enlarge.

Last Updated on 2020-10-30 by Birk Ecke The CEO of the Latvian airline and commercial pilot, Martin Gauss, is visibly enthusiastic about the Airbus A220-300. The aircraft was originally designed and built by Bombardier as the CS300. The type certification by Transport Canada took place in December 2015. airBaltic was the first customer to receive the first production aircraft at the end of November 2016. However, Bombardier ran into financial difficulties due to high development costs and delays in the project. After a sale of the CS300 to the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer failed, Airbus had a majority of 75% in this aircraft program by 2020. The Canadian province of Québec holds the remaining 25%.

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Economy & Politics: The Latvian airline airBaltic has published unaudited consolidated financial results for the first six months of 2020

Image: airBaltic Boeing 737 at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. Recorded by johanwiden69 - pixabay. Today airBaltic has still only the modern and fuel efficient Airbus A220-300 in service. Double click on the image to enlarge.

Last Updated on 2020-09-01 by Birk Karsten Ecke Because of the corona crisis and the resulting ban on operations, which lasted 62 days, the Latvian airline airBaltic had to accept severe losses in sales and passenger numbers in the first half of 2020. This is shown by the quarterly figures published on Wednesday, August 26th, 2020. In the first half of 2020, sales fell from € 219.5 million in the same period of 2019 to € 82.5 million. The number of passengers fell from 2.2 million to 800,000 over the same period. The loss amounts to € 184.8 million in the first half of 2020 compared to € 26.6 million in the first half of 2019. airBaltic is a stock corporation that is now slightly more than 96 percent owned by the Latvian state due to corona factors.

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Economy & Politics: The Latvian airline airBaltic is postponing the acquisition of new A220 NEO aircraft

Image: airBaltic Boeing 737 at Tallinn Airport. Recorded in August 2013. Today airBaltic has still only the modern and fuel efficient Airbus A220-300 in service. Double click on the image to enlarge.

Last Updated on 2020-08-27 by Birk Karsten Ecke The Latvian airline airBaltic is postponing the acquisition of new A220 NEO aircraft. It is also the only remaining scheduled airline in the three Baltic states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. airBaltic currently only operates a fleet of 22 Airbus A220-300s – formerly Bombardier C-Series – on medium-haul routes. AirBaltic originally wanted to fleet 28 additional A220-300s by 2023. But then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which also hit airBaltic very hard and practically overnight. It has been revealed that airBaltic has reached an agreement with Airbus to postpone delivery of the 28 A220-30 units to 2024, likely in the hope that the air travel market will pick up again then.

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Travel & Tourism: Why the Germans are no longer allowed to enter Latvia or have to go into quarantine

Image: The Central Market in Rīga. Recorded in October 2014. Double click on the image to enlarge.

Last Updated on 2020-08-27 by Birk Karsten Ecke Latvia has a rigid policy towards foreigners since the outbreak of COVID-19. There has never been a social lock down in this country like in Germany, but the small Baltic country has been largely free of the virus since March 2020 through border closings and operating bans for the Riga airport and a temporary ban on cross-border traffic. The number of cases of COVID-19 has therefore so far been limited. For people entering Latvia, the rule is that no more than 16 cases per 100,000 inhabitants may be infected in the country of origin. Germany exceeded this threshold with 16.3 per 100,000 inhabitants last Friday.

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