Latvia-based Air Baltic has announced that it has signed for 30 additional Bombardier CSeries aircraft and has also acquired options for 30 more. The total value of the order was placed at about $2.9 billion, based on list price.
With an order of 20 CS300s already placed and eight CS300s already in service, Air Baltic has become the largest European CSeries customer with the order.
Currently, Swiss Global Air Lines, owned by Lufthansa, is the only other European customer with CSeries orders, and is currently utilizing twelve CS300 aircraft with eight more on order. The Swiss carrier also has eight CS100 aircraft in service and has orders for two additional CS100 aircraft.
Aiming to replace the airline’s Bombardier Q400s and Boeing 737-300s/500s, Air Baltic hopes to use the 150-seat aircraft in its expansion to Baltic markets such as Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.
“In 2017, we experienced outstanding growth and showed the world the unique capabilities and comfort of this innovative aircraft,” says Air Baltic’s Chief Executive, Martin Gauss. “We successfully executed our fleet modernisation strategy, and are excited to grow our fleet up to 80 CS300 aircraft while phasing out our other aircraft types in the next three years.”
As of December 2017, Air Baltic unsurprisingly reported that it had been receiving positive feedback on the improved flying experience from its customers on the CS300 aircraft.
The carrier currently operates the aircraft on high traffic routes from Riga, Latvia to Amsterdam, Munich, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Rome, Barcelona and other destinations. Air Baltic hopes that the newly modernized fleet will allow the airline to add at least 10 additional routes and increase ticket sales by 16%, which fits well with the airline’s growth strategy.
An “AvGeek” for most of his life, Akhil has always been drawn to aviation. If there is an opportunity to read about an airline, fly on a new airplane, or talk to anyone about aviation, he is on it. Akhil has been on over 20 different kinds of aircraft, his favorite being the MD-80. Additionally, he has visited 5 continents and plans to knock out the remaining two (Africa and Antarctica) soon. Based in Dallas, Akhil graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in Management Information Systems and currently works in consulting. His dream is to become an airline executive.