airBaltic in 2022: A year of growth and recovery

Close-up of the nose of an airBaltic A220 aircraft.
Photo Credit: airBaltic

LONDON – airBaltic has announced 2022 was a year of increased growth in passengers and flights as operations continue to towards pre-pandemic performance.

airBaltic’s 2022 Performance…

Picture credit: airBaltic

In a press release issued on 19 January 2023, the Latvia-based carrier published passenger and flight statistics for 2022 showing an increase in both compared to 2021.

The release shows that in 2022, passenger numbers had increased by 105% when compared to 2021’s figures, and, similarly, flights had increased by 59% compared to the previous year.

Prior to the pandemic in 2019, airBaltic announced it had carried approximately 5 million passengers and in 2022, it carried just over 3 million passengers.

Passengers5 049 3171 628 0003 342 200
Flights62 74823 44037 300
Figures obtained from airBaltic website

In the press release, President and CEO of airBaltic, Martin Gauss, stated, “Although characterized by the simultaneous need to adapt to the changing world and seek growth, 2022 proved to be a challenging, but rich year.”

“The past 12 months have been full of positive milestones – beginning with the ongoing increase of carried passengers and operated flights, continuing with opening a new base in Tampere and launching fresh routes to Marrakesh, Gran Canaria, and Batumi.”

“Definitely, reaching new destinations would not be possible without new aircraft, thus, last year the fleet of airBaltic attained already 39 Airbus A220-300, and we welcomed our 50-millionth passenger.”

airBaltic, based in Riga, Latvia, provides scheduled, low-cost, point-to-point services from its three bases in the Baltic nations (Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius) to destinations throughout Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

The carrier also provides connections via the Latvian capital and other destinations via various partner airlines.

It was also published earlier in January that 2022 saw an additional 931 recruits join the company with a projected target of increasing the company to 2500 personnel in 2023.

Gauss also stated, “Important to highlight, that 2022 was also a year of international attention – for instance, receiving the International Air Transport Association’s Diversity & Inclusion Team Award, and the Skytrax Award for the best airline in Eastern Europe gave a great honor to airBaltic.”


Picture credit: airBaltic

The carrier operates a fleet of Airbus A220-300 aircraft which replaced the airline’s previous fleet of older Boeing 737 aircraft.

airBaltic received its 39th airframe of the type on 31 December 2022, registered as YL-ABM. This is the seventh aircraft received by the airline in 2022 and is part of the carrier’s order of 50 of the types from Airbus.

airBaltic also holds options and purchase rights for 30 additional aircraft. airBaltic was the launch customer for the type in 2018.

The A220 is placed central to the airline’s growth and sustainability objectives due to its increased range, modern passenger cabin (including Wi-Fi offering – see AviationSourceNews article here) and fuel efficiency, and reduced carbon emissions.

Compared to the company’s previous fleet of Boeing 737-500 aircraft, the A220 has approximately 30% fewer emissions.

As reported in Aviation Source News here, with Summer 2023 on the horizon, airBaltic is set to increase and diversify its network.

Gauss concluded with an optimistic outlook “we are full of strength, ideas, and determination, by looking ahead to 2023, and our core goals remain – to ensure the best connectivity between the Baltics – one of the key European business centers of the future – and the world, as well as maintain improved passenger experience and deliver a considerable contribution to the economy.”

“This year we will expand, launching 18 new routes from Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius, and offering up to 70 direct routes in total.”

By Jack K Byrne 5 Min Read
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