The Riga-based charter flight provider, which recently gained an AOC in Malta plus a contract with TUI, says it is enjoying rapid development.
SmartLynx Airlines, Latvia’s second-biggest carrier, providing charter flights and aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) services, says it is marking 2019 as a “year of strategic growth”.
In the last two years and continuing into the first quarter of 2019, several operational and strategic highlights were achieved to boost its rapid growth, it says in a press release.
Formerly known as LatCharter, Riga-based SmartLynx claims it is increasing its fleet from 15 aircraft in 2017 to 23 in 2019, having raised its number of flight hours from 46,160 to 54,000 in 2018, with 20,500 flights operated last year, 28.6% more than in 2017.
During 2018, it carried more than three million passengers, up from 2.5 million the year before, and it pointed also to a “technical reliability indicator” of 98.6%.
The carrier, which mostly operates charter flights for tour operators in Latvia and Estonia, added to its charter-flight route map in 2018 with Tirana (Albania), Djerba (Tunisia), Enfidha (Tunisia) and Podgorica (Montenegro).
“2018 highlighted a rapid growth in the company’s operations, which have been boosted by a well-defined strategy in the challenging times the aviation industry is facing today,” said Zygimantas Surintas, chief executive of SmartLynx.
“In 2018, we continued our disciplined and thoughtful actions towards the development of the company both in operational and financial performance.”
To ensure stable growth, long-term contracts are now the company’s main focus, and a new three-year contract with TUI Airlines Belgium is one of the fruits of this strategy, the company says. From summer 2019, four Smartlynx aircraft will be flying under TUI Airlines flight codes.
Meanwhile, on April 15, SmartLynx received an air operator’s certificate in Malta, a certificate that “brings competitive advantage for the strategic expansion of the company by opening doors to new markets and clients,” the airline said. It also gained an EASA Part M CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Approval Organisation) approval from Malta.