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Latvia's airBaltic will gradually renew fleet with Bombardier CS300 aircraft

BC, Riga, 02.12.2016.Print version
Latvia’s national carrier airBaltic will gradually renew its fleet with CS300 aircraft made by Canadian Bombardier and will sell its Boeing 737 planes, the company’s CEO Martin Gauss told the press LETA on Friday.

He said that at present airBaltic fleet consists of 13 Boeing 737 planes, four of them are on a leasing, and nine belong to the company. While renewing its fleet, the Boeing 737 planes will be sold and by 2020 all airBaltic fleet will consist of Bombardier planes.

By 2021 the company plans to increase its passenger transportation from the current three million to four million a year. The planned size of the fleet is 34 aircraft.

Gauss said that this year the company will receive two of the new CS300 aircraft, next year – six, and in 2018 – eight, while the remaining four aircraft should arrive in 2020.

He said that the performance of the new planes is even better that Bombardier had promised in relation to fuel consumption and long-distance flights.

Speaking about renewal of the fleet, Gauss said that costs of the first planes are covered thanks to contributions of the private investor and the state, but decisions on further financing schemes will be made gradually. Export Development Canada is one of the company’s potential partners.

He said that the state has started looking for a strategic investor for airBaltic, and ideally it would be a large airline. Results in this respect can be expected next year.

At present airBaltic ensures flights with 25 aircraft – 13 Boeing 737 and 12 Bombardier Q400 NextGen.

As reported, airBaltic welcomed the world's first Bombardier CS300 aircraft in Riga on Wednesday.

According to airBaltic, the new CS300 aircraft with a total of 145 seats offers excellent flying experience with such benefits for passengers as wider seats, larger windows, more hand luggage space in the cabin, improved lavatories and other. New aircraft is also much quieter - with four times smaller noise footprint. Moreover, at the moment, it is the greenest commercial aircraft in the world, as it is the first aircraft to have a transparent declaration of the life-cycle environmental impact, helping to reduce CO2 and NOX emissions by 20% and 50% respectively.

airBaltic will start Bombardier CS300 commercial operations on December 14 on its route linking Riga with Amsterdam. airBaltic is the launch operator for the CS300 aircraft, and has ordered twenty CS300 aircraft.

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