Latvian national airline airBaltic has announced the opening of the 2023 summer season by introducing 20 new destinations across Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius and Tampere.
This is the largest number of new routes an airline has introduced for a season, and the first flight of the program departed today on April 2, 2023.
The airline recently took delivery of the 40th A220-300 aircraft, and appears to be readying up for an expected hectic summer season this year as the carrier now offers an extensive route network throughout the season.
Summer Season is a Go
airBaltic have launched the 2023 summer season today on April 2, featuring a summer destination chart with 20 different destinations available.
The 20 destinations are spread across airBaltic’s four hubs of Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius and Tampere, and the first flight of the season has already been flown, from Riga to Istanbul.
On the summer season launch, Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic stated the following: “The opening of these 20 new summer destinations will provide our passengers with even more options when it comes to seamless travel experience.”
“We continue to be committed to our home cities in the Baltics and improving connectivity to and from the region.”
“Also, we are glad to expand airBaltic offering for this summer season both with new route additions and increased flight frequencies on our existing leisure and city break routes,” he concluded.
Within this extensive route chart for the summer season, the following destinations are available:
- FROM RIGA
- Istanbul – 4 flights weekly from April 2.
- Hannover – 2 flights weekly from April 15.
- Bucharest – 3 flights weekly from May 1.
- Porto – 2 flights weekly from May 1.
- Burgas – 2 flights weekly from May 2.
- Bilbao – 2 flights weekly from May 4.
- Tivat – 2 flights weekly from May 4.
- Yerevan – 2 flights weekly from May 16.
- Belgrade – 2 flights weekly from May 16.
- Baku – 2 flights weekly from May 17.
- FROM TALLINN
- Split – 2 flights weekly from May 1.
- Rhodes – 2 flights weekly from May 1.
- Dubrovnik – 2 flights weekly from May 2.
- Heraklion – 2 flights weekly from May 3.
- FROM VILNIUS
- Malaga – 2 flights weekly from May 2.
- Palma de Mallorca – 2 flights weekly from May 2.
- Nice – 2 flights weekly from May 3.
- Heraklion – 2 flights weekly from May 4.
- FROM TAMPERE
- Nice – 2 flights weekly from May 2.
- Milan – 2 flights weekly from May 4.
Wet-lease to meet demand
Despite recently taking delivery of their 40th Airbus A220-300 aircraft, airBaltic is just short of meeting the required capacity for the Summer 2023 season.
This has resulted in airBaltic wet-leasing four Airbus A320 aircraft in order to meet the remaining demand the company is estimated to meet.
In total, two of the aircraft will operate out of the Riga base, starting from March 26 to October 28, while one will be based in Vilnius and another in Tallinn, from May 1 to October 28.
Speaking on the lease arrangement and strategic partnership, Martin Gauss, President and CEO of airBaltic said: “Although the challenges, caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine is still being felt, the aviation industry is gradually stabilizing.”
“As a result, passenger demand for air travel is increasing. At the same time, the industry as a whole continues to face technical parts supply chain issues, which means we need additional capacity to carry all passengers, avoiding flight cancellations.”
“Therefore, this summer airBaltic will be cooperating with Avion Express, which aircraft offer even more seats, thus allowing us to carry greater amount of passengers.”
Prior to the partnership agreement, airBaltic has conducted full volume technical and quality inspections of all the aircraft to ensure complete customer satisfaction.
And in terms of cabin configurations, the wet-leased aircraft will be available in two configurations, with burgundy red leather seats and blue textile seats.
The onboard ambiance will feature airBaltic-branded white headrest covers, Baltic Outlook inflight magazine, and the airline’s safety cards.
Furthermore, the crew of Avion Express has been instructed to detail, in order to ensure the same high standard of service as airBaltic.
The Airbus A320-232 aircraft of Avion Express (registration numbers: 9H-AMI, 9H-AMK, 9H-MLY, 9H-MLX) have been manufactured in the period from 2008 to 2011.