What’s next for airBaltic? – Airway Magazine


FARNBOROUGH – At the Farnborough Airshow we met airBaltic (BT) Chairman and CEO Martin Gauss to discuss how the carrier has adapted to the Airbus A220-300 and the airline’s next steps.

Since acquiring its first A220-300 in 2016, the carrier has grown from a small regional airline to a powerful European airline.

The airline currently operates a fleet of 36 aircraft, all A220-300s. The new A220s have replaced the older Boeing 737s and Bombardier DHC-8-400s, offering a much better passenger experience.

Now the airline is thinking carefully about its next steps as it aims to spread its wings across Europe and beyond.

According to Gauss, the Airbus A321XLR and flights to North America are under consideration, which would be substantial developments for the airline.

Photo: airBaltic

Interview with Martin Gauss

AW: Tell us how airBaltic decided to order the A220-300 and how the aircraft has shaped your airline since then.

MG: Exactly 10 years ago at the Farnborough Airshow, we signed a Letter of Intent (Letter of Intent) for, then the CS300, now the A220-300, and today you hold on to number 36 of this initial order.

The aircraft has been in service with us since 2016, and we have become the launch operator of the A220-300, we have four more coming this year and eight next year. These are firm orders, and we still have 30 options.

It changed our airline. Today we are an all-A220-300 operator, we do very short journeys, like a 30-minute sector, but also up to seven hours from Dubai. We fly 100 routes with the same aircraft, the same concept in a 2-class configuration.

Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways

We have a full-service European business class and a very low-cost economy cabin, and it works very well.

It was working before COVID, in COVID of course we had the same problems as all airlines, but we are coming out of COVID, and the concept in which airBaltic flies with this aircraft being the greenest and most eco-friendly aircraft environment in its class helps us.

Passengers are looking for “what’s modern, what’s new”, and this is the newest you can fly. We are very happy and Airbus asked us to bring the plane to the airshow to show it.

We carried over 8 million passengers on the A220-300 and overall the aircraft carried over 60 million passengers. It’s established, popular with travellers, and for us very economical to operate.

AW: airBaltic offers a product dedicated to business and economy classes. Do you plan to have something in the middle, like a premium economy product?

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Featured Image: Kochan Kleps/Airways


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