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airBaltic is the Latvian airline carrier based at Riga International Airport.
airBaltic is a low-cost carrier founded in 1995 and has been state owned since 30th November 2011. Following the closure of Air Lituanica and Estonian Air in June and November 2015 respectively, airBaltic is one of two flag carriers in the Baltic countries and the only one in possession of its own fleet of aircraft. airBaltic also pride themselves in being the world's most punctual airline.
airBaltic’s main hub is Riga International Airport from where 60 direct flights are operated, most of all to Europe but not exclusively. They have flights to the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Israel.
Specific destinations include Vilnius, Helsinki, Tallinn, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, Riga, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Radom and Thessaloniki.
Frequent Flyer Program
airBaltic has a frequent flyer program called 'PINS'.
PINS is also the name of the 'loyalty currency' that airbaltic credit their frequent flyers with.
PINS can be used to redeem free baggage allowance, no queues, reserved seating and much more to make travelling even more pleasant.
airBaltic has different types of tickets available includnig Basic, Premium and Business. Basic economy class package has 1 cabin bag and one personal item for hand luggage and Business Class has 2 cabin bags with 1 personal item.
1 bag of up to 20kg for Premium Class
2 bags of up to 2 x 20kg for Business Service Class.
13th October 2017
Air Baltic begins returning CS300 fleet to service
Latvian carrier Air Baltic has started restoring services with Bombardier CS300s, following a suspension of the fleet for engine checks.
Air Baltic has not given much insight into the nature of the checks relating to the type's Pratt & Whitney PW1500G powerplants.
But it points out that it was a launch customer for the twinjet, and states that it had "envisaged" a need to undertake upgrades to the aircraft as part of the fleet introduction strategy.
"There are certain technical nuances that are characteristic to new equipment that require additional attention and upgrades during the initial stages of exploitation," it says.
"Similarly to all new aircraft their introduction requires additional attention concerning the harmonisation between different manufacturer parts and systems."
All seven CS300s were temporarily grounded on 11 October while the checks were carried out.
Air Baltic adds that operational results from the CS300s have been "very good", with 21% savings in fuel compared with other aircraft in its fleet.
26th September 2017
airBaltic Crew Goes Green With iPads
The Latvian airline airBaltic has introduced Apple iPads to replace paper manuals and forms used by the cabin crew as a modernization investment, which will provide increased operational efficiency and will lead to considerable savings on paper consumption.
Martin Sedlacky, Chief Operations Officer of airBaltic: “Back in 2014 we introduced iPads to pilots. It allowed the pilots to avoid carrying between 10-15 kg of flight details, manuals and reference material to each flight. It was highly appreciated by our pilots, so we took the next step, making also the daily work of Cabin crew almost paperless.”
During the past three years, the project has already allowed the company to save about 6 million pages of paper equivalent to roughly 350 trees. In addition to that, as an iPad weighs just 0.7 kg, the weight reduction also saves on fuel, according to airBaltic.
Ingūna Andže, Vice President Cabin Crew of airBaltic: “The Electronic Flight Bag project allows us not only to save on resources, but also improve operative information exchange with other departments, as well as make the reporting process more efficient and updating manuals – easier.”
During the past two weeks, all cabin crew have gone through training program to get familiar with the new system and its applications. As of September 25, the project has been launched in daily operations.
airBaltic serves over 60 destinations from its home base in Riga, Latvia. From every one of these locations, airBaltic offers convenient connections via Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, the CIS and the Middle East. In addition, airBaltic also offers direct flights from Tallinn and Vilnius.
15th September 2017
airBaltic Will Fly to Liepaja Also During Winter
Latvian airline airBaltic has made a decision to continue its domestic flights connecting Riga and Liepaja also during the winter season.
The decision will allow the city to remain available for visitors from more than 60 airBaltic destinations in Europe, Scandinavia, the Middle East and the CIS.
Martin Gauss, the Chief Executive Officer at airBaltic: “The performance of the flights to Liepaja beat our expectations. We hoped to serve 3200 passengers on the route, however, already now, two months before the end of the summer season, more than 4500 passengers have made a booking. We had to analyse the most recent data in order to understand, whether it would have a positive network effect continuing flying to Liepaja during the winter. Now we have confirmed our plans to serve the destination year-round.”
“A domestic service to Liepaja is significant for the economy of the region. We offer increased connectivity for business and leisure travellers, create jobs, and increase the overall visibility of the city and the region,” Gauss noted.
Passengers from Liepaja use the connection to Riga for transit flights more and more often. The five most popular connections from Liepaja are Copenhagen, Moscow, London, Stockholm and Berlin, according to airBaltic.
For the winter schedule, we have improved the days of operation in order to maximize available connections via Riga. The morning flights from Liepaja starting October 30 will take place on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, also allowing passengers to plan a weekend trip from Riga.
11th September 2017
airBaltic to launch direct flights between Latvia and Abu Dhabi
airBaltic, the Latvian airline, will launch a new route between Riga and Abu Dhabi from 29th October, operated by the new Bombardier CS300 aircraft.
The service will run 4 x Weeky, with flight BT797 departing Riga on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 2335, landing into Abu Dhabi at 0725 the following day. Return leg journey: BT798 leaving the UAE capital at 0945, landing back into Riga at 1400.
This service will provide connectivity for passengers travelling from the UAE and neighbouring Gulf countries to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. European countries will include Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Russia.
Martin Gauss, CEO of Air Baltic commented on the service that the carrier’s new Bombardier CS300 aircraft allowed it “reach airports that we were not able to serve with our fleet before”.
“Our codeshare cooperation with Etihad Airways will offer convenient connections to passengers travelling from the Baltic airports to the UAE capital Abu Dhabi and further to key destinations in Australia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as provide new travelling opportunities from Abu Dhabi to European and Scandinavian airports,” Gauss added.
Read also: airBaltic Announce 5 New Destinations for 2018
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7th September 2017
AirBaltic to expand codeshare routes with Aegean Airlines
Aegean Airlines and airBaltic in winter 2017/18 season plans to expand codeshare partnership, offering additional travel option between the Baltics and Greece. Planned codeshare routes from 29OCT17 as follow.
Aegean Airlines operated by airBaltic
Riga – Geneva
Riga – Milan Malpensa
Riga – Prague
Riga – Rome
Vilnius – Berlin Tegel
airBaltic operated by Aegean Airlines
Athens – Geneva
Athens – Milan Malpensa
Athens – Prague
Athens – Rome
Athens – Warsaw
7th September 2017
AirBaltic to replace Bombardier Q400s with jets
Latvian carrier airBaltic, which is in the process of being reprivatized, plans to phase out its 12 Bombardier Q400s and replace them with either CSeries or Embraer E195-E2s.
“We will be announcing an order to replace the Q400s. The decision to replace our Q400s with jets has already been taken, so it just a question of when we announce the order. The turboprop era is over, so we are going jet,” airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss told ATW in an exclusive interview.
Riga-based airBaltic currently operates 12 Q400s. This was meant to rise to 14, but the airline is sticking at 12 after taking the decision to transition to an all-jet fleet. The Q400s will come off lease around 2021-22, although airBaltic is considering bringing in the jet replacements around 2019-20 and subleasing the Q400s until the end of their terms.
Gauss said the E195-E2s and CS100/300 are in the running for the order, which would cover at least 14 replacement aircraft and possibly more for growth. The final selection has not yet been announced.
Riga-based airBaltic already operates seven CS300s and has another 13 awaiting delivery. The next aircraft will arrive in October or November, but then there will be a break until late spring, with the next six aircraft will join the fleet through summer 2018.
AirBaltic has the option to swap CS300s for CS100s, but this requires a two-year lead time, which has already passed on its existing order. The E195-E2 is appealing, as it shares the same engine as the CSeries.
Beyond the CS300s and Q400s, airBaltic has five Boeing 737-500s and six 737-300s (nine owned and two leased). These will be sold and returned from 2020.
Gauss said he hopes the order announcement will come this year, but it partly depends on what happens with airBaltic’s privatization. The airline is hoping to secure a new shareholder by the end of 2017.
The airline is 20%-owned by Danish entrepreneur Lars Thuesen, who owns Danish wet-lease operator Jet Time. The remainder is held by the Latvian government.
Since spring, Gauss said several airlines have shown interest in the government stake, including some who joined the process later. He declined to comment on how many potential bidders are in the running, but added that the interested parties have been given access to airBaltic’s data. Others can still join the process, if they are able to meet the year-end target date.
Most likely airBaltic will next communicate when it has secured a binding offer that is being finalized, rather than giving interim updates on short-listed bidders.
The main goal of the Latvian state is not the monetary bid, but to ensure that Latvia remains connected. “The state doesn’t have to sell. Thanks to our capital increase two years ago and our operating profit, we have sufficient funds for the foreseeable future. For the long term, beyond our current business plan, we would need investment,” he said.
AirBaltic is having a good year. In the year to July, revenues and passenger numbers were both up 20%. Operating costs have fallen, delivering an increased operating profit, but one-off costs from the CSeries transition have had a “big impact on the business” affecting net profits.
“It’s been an incredible year on the passenger side, better than we planned. As it looks now, we will have the best year in the company’s history,” Gauss said. The fleet changeover to the CSeries will continue to have an impact in both 2017 and 2018.
AirBaltic is pursuing a strategy to link the Baltic region with major hubs, like Abu Dhabiand Amsterdam, offering one-stop flights worldwide through codeshare and interline agreements. The airline has added 13 new routes this year and announced another five for 2018, with more to follow. Asia is a region where airBaltic is looking to establish connectivity.
1st September 2017
airBaltic extends selected destinations to year-round in W17
airBaltic in late-August 2017 announced the planned service changes in winter 2017/18 season, as 3 destinations being converted to year-round service. Following destinations will continue to be served on/after 29OCT17.
Riga – Geneva 3 weekly CS300
Riga – Gothenburg 4 weekly Dash8-Q400 (3 weekly 12JAN18 – 05MAR18)
Riga – Tampere 5 weekly Dash8-Q400 (4 weekly 12JAN18 – 28FEB18)
16th August 2017
airBaltic announces 5 New Destinations for 2018
Next summer (2018) airBaltic will have more than five new destinations added to its route map, starting from 27th March 2018.
Wolfgang Reuss, Senior Vice President Network Management of airBaltic:
“So far 2017 has been an excellent year for airBaltic – already seven brand new Bombardier CS300 aircraft have successfully joined our fleet as we are serving a growing family of customers. We are delighted to share the first glimpse of forecast how our 2018 is going to look, by announcing a wider selection of destinations that our customers have demanded for the next summer. Network expansion is a key part of our Horizon 2021 business plan that enables us to further improve connections between the Baltic region and the rest of the world.”
During the first six months of 2017, airBaltic has carried a total of 1 565 462 passengers throughout its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East, which is the second highest number of passengers in the history of the airline. airBaltic’s improved connectivity, efficient aircraft and low cost base will further enable to continue its expansion as No 1 carrier of the Baltic region.
For the summer season of 2018 airBaltic has added Malaga (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal), Split (Croatia), Bordeaux (France) and Gdansk (Poland). Additional new destinations will be announced in the future.
7th June 2017
airBaltic has issued a Request For Proposals (RFP) to unspecified parties for the purchase of either Bombardier (BBA, Montréal Trudeau) or Embraer (São José dos Campos) equipment needed to replace its fleet of twelve Dash 8-400s, all of which are leased from Nordic Aviation Capital.
Once a decision is taken this year, the order will be for fourteen aircraft, with deliveries to 2020. Given the Latvian carrier's growth plans, options for additional aircraft will likely be included in any eventual order.
5th June 2017
airBaltic relaunched a direct route linking Riga with the second largest city in Sweden – Gothenburg.
The route offers convenient travel options for travellers from Sweden and Baltic States, as well as complements already exiting route from Riga to Stockholm, Arlanda airport, according to airBaltic.
By launching Riga – Gothenburg route airBaltic has fully entered the summer season. As informed previously, airBaltic has added 12 new destinations – Geneva (Switzerland), Aberdeen (United Kingdom), Stavanger (Norway), Gothenburg (Sweden), Tampere (Finland), Catania (Italy), Madrid (Spain), Odessa (Ukraine), Kazan (Russia) and Liepaja (Latvia) to the network of cities served from Riga, and introduced two new routes from Vilnius to Paris (France) and Munich (Germany).
1st June 2017
Bombardier delivered on June 1 another CS300 aircraft, less than a week after SWISS’ first CS300 delivery milestone. airBaltic’s new CS300 aircraft will be showcased at the 2017 International Paris Air Show.
airBaltic is planning to open at least 13 new routes with the CS300 in 2017. The airline currently operate the CS300 aircraft on popular routes such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome, Moscow, London, Paris, Vienna, Athens, and Madrid, according to Bombardier.
Bombardier has delivered 13 C Series aircraft to date.
The C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership manufactures the C Series Aircraft, and is an affiliate of the Bombardier Commercial Aircraft segment of Bombardier Inc.
31st May 2017
airBaltic is in cooperation with the Spanish airline Iberia, having launched a new direct route linking Riga and Madrid. The route offers convenient travel options for travellers between Spain and Latvia and beyond to destinations in the Baltics, Europe, Scandinavia, CIS and the Middle East.
The new route offers travelers from Baltics to explore Madrid where its historical spirit has taken up abode together with modern architecture and for travelers from Spain – the fascinating Baltic region.”
airBaltic flies from Riga to Madrid 3 x Weekly. airBaltic will operate a mix of Boeing 737 and the new Bombardier CS300 aircraft on the route. The flight is scheduled to last 4 hours 5 minutes.
22nd May 2017
airBaltic deploys CS300 on Moscow route
airBaltic has began deploying the Bombardier CS300 for flights to Sheremetyevo airport, Russia's main airport in Moscow. airBaltic became the CS300's first airline to operate and the airline now has 3 CS300s in service and another 17 on order. The CS300 has already been deployed to many destinations, which include: Barcelona, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Munich, Tallinn, Rome.
16th May 2017
airBaltic has commenced its latest route from Riga to Catania
airBaltic has started flying its service route from Riga to Catania, Sicily - A weekly service on Thursdays.
The 2,260-kilometre sector will be flown by the airline on its fleet of CS300s according to OAG schedules, making it the first new route anywhere in the world to be launched using this aircraft type. No other carrier currently operates the city pairing. Wolfgang Reuss, SVP of Network Management at airBaltic said of the new route: “We are delighted to add Catania to our summer season flights and to offer yet another sunny destination with convenient connections. Catania is the second largest city in Sicily, which in turn is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and it is a perfect place for summer holidays.” The news of Catania joining airBaltic’s network follows on from the airline’s recent launch of flights from Riga to Aberdeen, Geneva and Stavanger.
10th May 2017
Aberdeen International Airport has said that it has launched two new destinations ahead of the summer season. As the third and fourth new routes of the year, Aberdeen passengers will now be able to travel direct to Riga and Faro.
Low-cost airline airBaltic recently launched its newest route from Aberdeen International with the first flight to Riga taking off on May 2. The Latvian airline will operate 3 x weekly from Aberdeen offering customers links to the Latvian capital and Baltic States.
2nd May 2017
airBaltic’s launches new route from Riga - Aberdeen and Stavanger services are scheduled to begin
In May 2017, airBaltic announced it will wet-lease a Fokker 100 from Romanian ACMI/charter specialist Carpatair (V3, Timisoara) beginning later this month.
The airrcraft will be deployed to Riga where it will operate regular rotations to Oslo Gardermoen.
The contract runs from May 31 to September 3. Other aircraft operating for airBaltic this summer season on wet-lease include a B737-300 from Jet Time (JTG, Copenhagen Kastrup) and a B737-400 from Go2Sky (6G, Bratislava). Meanwhile, a B737-500 has been deployed to Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium (HQ, Brussels National) for summer operations. In June 2017, airBaltic annouced it was evaluating additional orders for Bombardier CSeries jets as replacements for Q400 turboprops. Air Baltic had been previously scheduled to have seven CS300s in operation by this point, he says. But he adds that the company is set to have eight aircraft by year, and to receive the same number in 2018. The Q400 leases were nearing the end of their term, and said the airline was discussing with Bombardier a potential order for a mix of CS100s and CS300s to replace the turboprops. There are 12 Q400s in Air Baltic's fleet.
29th April 2017
airBaltic adds 3rd destination in Russia to its network
From 26th April, the Latvian airline airBaltic has added a 3rd destination in Russia to its network. This service will fly between Riga and Kazan, twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays). The 1,559-kilometre sector will be served by the airline on its 737-300s facing no direct competition. The airline already flys from Riga to St. Petersburg and Moscow Sheremetyevo (both flown 24 times weekly), which will mean that airBaltic now offers 50 weekly flights between Latvia and Russia.
27th April 2017
airBaltic launches flights between Riga and Kazan using a Boeing 737
This service will fly twice weekly, each flight duration of 2 hours and 25 minutes.
13th April 2017
airBaltic announces the most popular destinations for Easter holidays as the Easter Weekend approaches
airBaltic announced the 5 most popular holiday destinations from airBaltic route map:
Tampere, Odessa and Munich, additionally travellers from and via Riga also choose to visit such well-known destinations as London and Nice. airBaltic has added Abu Dhabi (U.A.E), Geneva (Switzerland), Aberdeen (United Kingdom), Stavanger (Norway), Gothenburg (Sweden), Tampere (Finland), Catania (Italy), Madrid (Spain), Odessa (Ukraine), Kazan (Russia) and Liepaja (Latvia) to the network of services from Riga, and have introduced 2 new routes from Vilnius to Paris (France) and Munich (Germany). airBaltic serves over 60 destinations from its home base in Riga, Latvia. From every one of these locations, airBaltic offers convenient connections via Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, CIS and the Middle East. In addition, airBaltic also offers direct flights from Tallinn and Vilnius.
4th April 2017
airbaltic receives its third Bombardier CS300
airbaltic has received its third Bombarider CS300 which will ensure growth to at least 13 additional routes. The aircraft is currently operating to destinations such as, munich, Talinn and Amsterdam. The delivery of 6 further planes are planned for 2018 and 2019.
In April 2017, airBaltic announced it will supplement its summer fleet capacity with the wet-lease of a B737-400 from Slovakia' Go2Sky. The aircraft will add to the previously reported B737-300 being sourced from Denmark's Jet Time (JTG, Copenhagen Kastrup). B737-400 OM-GTD will be deployed on flights from Riga to each of Barcelona El Prat, Vienna, Dusseldorf, Stockholm Arlanda, Vienna, and Milan Malpensa. The contract runs from May 8 to May 29. The Jet Time B737-300 will be used to connect Riga with each of Milan Malpensa, Frankfurt Int'l, Berlin Tegel, Rome Fiumicino, Vienna, Nice, and London Gatwick. Its contract runs from May 1 to June 18.
27th March 2017
airBaltic commence flights *Vilinus - Munich route*
This route offers new travel options for passengers from Germany and Lithuania, flying 3 times a week. Flight duration is 2 hours and 5 minutes.
26th March 2017
airBaltic commences flights *Vilinus - Paris route*
Flying 4 flights a week, this route now offers more convenience and ease for travellers from Lithuania and France. Flight duration is 2 hours and 45 minutes on a Boeing 737 aircraft.
23rd March 2017
airBaltic announces new Summer routes – 12 of them!
From 26th March 2017 the new destinations added flying from Riga:
Geneva (Switzerland) – 3 flights weekly
Aberdeen (United Kingdom) - 3 flights weekly
Stavanger (Norway) – 2 flights weekly
Gothenburg (Sweden) – 6 flights weekly
Tampere (Finland) – 6 flights weekly
Catania (Italy) – 1 flight weekly
Madrid (Spain) – 3 flights weekly
Odessa (Ukraine) – 4 flights weekly
Kazan (Russia) – 2 flights weekly
Liepaja (Latvia) – 3 flights weekly
Vilnius to Paris (France) – 4 flights weekly
Munich (Germany) – 3 flights weekly
Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) – 3 flights weekly
27th February 2017
airBaltic is resuming services to the United Arab Emirates. This is the opening of reservation for Riga – Abu Dhabi route. The route will commence operation from 29th October 2017 with a Bombadier CS300 aircraft, 4 times a week.
7th February 2017
airBaltic announced new route service to Russia, with opening of Riga – Kazan route.
From 26th April 2017, airBaltic plans to operate this route twice weekly, with the Boeing 737 aircraft.
In September 2016, airBaltic achieved the fastest growth in passenger numbers among the top carriers serving the Baltic region in the peak summer month of July. airBaltic serves over 60 destinations from its home base in Riga, Latvia. From every one of these locations, airBaltic offers convenient connections via Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, CIS and the Middle East. In addition, airBaltic also offers new direct flights from Tallinn and Vilnius.
In April 2016, airBaltic commenced services between Vilnius and Tallinn. The 529-kilometre sector will be served by the carrier twice-daily on weekdays with no weekend service according to OAG Schedules Analyser data. airBaltic will utilise its Q400 fleet on the route. airBaltic will face direct competition on the route from Nordica which operates a 16 times weekly service between the two capital cities. For airBaltic this service becomes its third Baltic capital connection, with it already connecting both Vilnius and Tallinn with its Riga hub in Latvia.
airBaltic have a number of codeshare agreements including the following airlines: Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Air Berlin, Austrian Airlines, Czech Airlines, British Airways, KLM, TAP Portugal, Ukraine International and Uzbekistan Airways. airBaltic currently operates on three different types of aircraft, Boeing 737's 300/500 series and Bombardier Dash 8's. As of November 2015 the Latvian carrier also had 13 orders for Bombardier's CS300 aircraft.