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A special airBaltic livery on one of its A220s, the Latvian flag marking the country's centenary (photo: airBaltic)

airBaltic champions A220, phasing out 737s

The airline is to end its Boeing 737 fleet operations this year in favour of a single aircraft type of up to 80 Airbus A220-300s.

airBaltic has announced today that it will end its Boeing 737 fleet operations this coming autumn, one year ahead of the original plan.

The Latvian airline says it “aims to minimise complexity and benefit from the additional efficiency of the Airbus A220-300 aircraft”, which will eventually be the only aircraft type operated by the carrier.

So far it has taken delivery of 14 of its A220-300 orders, while eight more new planes will join them this year.

The A220-300 – formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries – has “performed beyond the company’s expectations”, airBaltic says, delivering better overall performance, fuel efficiency and convenience both for the airline’s passengers and staff.

In late 2018, the carrier phased out three of its Boeing 737-500 aircraft, while six Boeing 737-300s and two Boeing 737-500s are still in operation. Its fleet of 12 Bombardier Q400 aircraft will be phased out by 2022.

“The Airbus A220-300 is the aircraft of our future and, by phasing out the Boeing 737, we will have the youngest jet fleet in Europe,” claims Martin Gauss, airBaltic’s chief executive.

“The introduction of the Airbus A220-300 has been very successful and has provided the additional efficiency any airline is seeking in the highly competitive aviation market.

“Thanks to the good overall performance we took a decision to introduce a single-type fleet of up to 80 (50 firm order and 30 options) Airbus A220-300 aircraft by 2022.”

Bigger, greener, quieter
airBaltic says that the Airbus A220-300 “offers an excellent flying experience with such benefits for passengers as wider seats, larger windows, more hand luggage space in the cabin, improved lavatories and much more”.

The new planes are “also considerably quieter – with a four times smaller noise footprint”.

At the moment, the carrier adds, it is the “greenest commercial aircraft in the world” as it is the first to have “a transparent declaration of the life-cycle environmental impact, helping to reduce CO2 and NOX emissions by 20% and 50% respectively”.

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