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airBaltic Resumes Flights, Plots Course to Cut Future Losses
While many major U.S. carriers have announced unique new routes in recent weeks, one European carrier is occupied with resuming flights from one of its major Baltic hubs. Latvia’s national carrier, airBaltic, is continuing its recovery plan by officially announcing flight resumptions between Riga, Latvia and nine major European cities as its home country’s government has started to permit more travel.
“We welcome the decision of the Latvian government to ease the travel restrictions in place while maintaining the safety and health of the public as its top priority. It enables us to perform a number of additional routes vital for the connectivity of Latvia and the Baltic states,” airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss said.
Flight operations from the Latvian capital city, the airline’s main hub, will resume to Amsterdam; Brussels; Lisbon; Prague; Vienna; Zurich; Gothenburg, Sweden; Lisbon and Reykjavik. The new flight resumptions in its recovery plan will bring the total number of destinations, from its major hub to 35 cities across the continent.
Commitment to A220-300
While airBaltic’s flight operations and network might not be as large as its major northern European competitors — which include Finnair, SAS, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Icelandair — its recent growth in flight resumptions will allow the airline to efficiently allocate its sole powerhouse in the fleet, the Airbus A220-300, to fly on high demand and competitive routes.
airBaltic was the launch customer for the aircraft and currently has 22 in its fleet with 28 more on order, which will complete the solid order of 50 by the end of 2024. The new flight resumptions will also bring airBaltic back into Europe’s aviation and travel industry as they began halting flight operations in May.
In addition, in late August, the airline announced its move to operate an all A220-300 fleet, which happens to play a pivotal role in its current flight resumptions, its future growth and its adjustment to meet the current travel demands.
While airBaltic will once again now be offered the opportunity to use its aircraft, the flight resumptions to major European business and leisure destinations will allow the airline to counteract its losses from the first half of 2020. The airline faced a loss of 184.4 million euros ($217.8 million) due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
However, airBaltic’s new fleet coupled with European Union travel restrictions between each country being eased will allow the airline to maintain its extensive network within the Baltic region and the rest of Europe and combat any future operational losses from the global pandemic.
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