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airBaltic CEO Martins Gauss, Latvian Transport Minister Uldis Augulis, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft President Fred Cromer (photo: airBaltic)

airBaltic to be C Series-only fleet with major order

The Latvian airline plots a “significant breakthrough of development” with an order for up to 60 more CS300s.

The Latvian airline airBaltic and aircraft manufacturer Bombardier have signed a firm agreement for the sale and purchase of 30 CS300 aircraft with options for 30 more.

The order complements an existing order of 20 CS300s and forms the “backbone” of the new airBaltic business plan Destination 2025 that builds on the progress of the current plan Horizon 2021.

“As an early adopter of the C Series, we took a forward-looking decision on advanced technology to support our turnaround plan leading to sustainable profitability, and today we are benefiting from the most fuel-efficient small single-aircraft,” said Martin Gauss, the airline’s chief executive.

“With demonstrated fuel savings of more than 22%, the aircraft plays vital role in maintaining our operating costs at a low level. In 2017, we experienced outstanding growth and showed the world the unique capabilities and comfort of this innovative aircraft.”

He added that the latest step in modernisation will increase the fleet to “up to 80 CS300 aircraft while phasing out our other aircraft types in the next three years”.

Expanding the map
Gauss said that the Destination 2025 business plan “foresees airBaltic expanding the map of our operations”. The plan relies on the expansion of routes from all three Baltic countries – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania – to cover “essentially the main European cities”, the airline says.

The strategy also foresees that airBaltic, which recently posted its best-ever operating results, will achieve a significant increase in passenger numbers and revenues by 2025.

Deliveries for this new order are scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2019. The previous order for 20 CS300 aircraft is ongoing and is expected to be completed by 2019. Based on the list price of the CS300, the new firm order is valued at US$2.9 billion, to rise to nearly US$5.9 billion if all 30 purchase rights are exercised.

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