LONDON – Low-cost Latvian flag carrier and Europe’s leanest airline airBaltic welcomed its 36 Airbus A220-300 regional jet on May 28, marking a special occasion for the airline which recently announced its drive and focus on switching to being a green airline with the most modern fleet.
The welcoming of the new jet signals a healthy indicator that air travel is back and airlines are resilient amidst high fuel prices and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The new jet received by airBaltic is registered as YL-ABJ.
airBaltic is the world’s largest single A220-300 operator
This is the fourth of eight planned Airbus A220-300 aircraft deliveries for airBaltic in 2022. This delivery is part of the mega orders the Latvian airline has placed. AirBaltic ordered 50 Airbus A220-300 in total. The airline has also 30 firm options and purchases rights for the A220-300.
AirBaltic has transported approximately 8 million passengers on the Airbus A220-300 regional jet alone! The aircraft type performed more than 92,000 flights and logged over 200,000 block hours.
As of May 2020, the airline operates all of its flights on this particular regional aircraft the A220-300. All of their previous fleets of the Q400 and the Boeing 737-300 classic have been phased out. COVID-19 has forced the airline to rethink its fleet strategy, and its move to be an all A220 airline seems to pay off.
The A220-300 has exceeded the expectation of the airline, and it is the backbone of airBaltic since the pandemic. The regional jet offers ultimate fuel efficiency, and convenience for the crew and her passengers, and is very modern. The aircraft has a configuration of 2-3, larger windows, more luggage space in the cabin, and spacious and wider bathrooms which gives passengers and crew more comfort. The A220 truly outperforms other narrowbody jets like the 737s and A320s.
A220-300 Clean and Reliable in a COVID-19 world
The A220-300 is also a ‘clean’ aircraft. The new Airbus regional jet is equipped with a high-quality air filtering system, so-called the: High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA). The type of filter offers the best level of filtration currently available in the market for recirculated cabin air from the very beginning of boarding, during the entire flight and until disembarkation.
The quality of cabin air is carefully controlled and is recirculated with ventilation rates that provide a total change of air 20-30 times per hour.
Apart from it being clean and comfortable, the A220 is very quiet compared to other aircraft like the 737s and the A320s. The regional aircraft has a four times smaller noise footprint. Interesting, the aircraft is the first airliner in the world to have a transparent declaration of the life-cycle environmental impact, helping to reduce CO2 and NOX emissions by 20% and 50% respectively.
AirBaltic is very important to the Latvian economy, and welcoming the 36th aircraft is very important for the country. The airline is the best known international brand in Latvia and contributes to over 2.5% of the Latvian GDP. The airline is also proud to be a Latvian company, and also the largest all Airbus A220 airline. One could say that the pandemic has catapulted the airline to a stronger position.