AirBaltic has entered into a agreement with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft for the sale and purchase of 30 Bombardier CS300 aircraft with options for an additional 30 aircraft of the same type.
The order is part of the Latvian-based carrier’s plans to grow its route network across Europe, and as it looks to add to the 70 routes it now runs from Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius.
For summer 2018, it has introduced eight new destinations from Riga to Malaga, Lisbon, Split, Bordeaux, Gdansk, Almaty as well as Sochi and Kaliningrad. In addition, airBaltic launched a new direct route connecting Tallinn and London.
The Bombardier order complements the existing order of 20 CS300 aircraft and forms the backbone of the carrier’s new business plan ‘Destination 2025’ that builds on the progress of the current airline’s business plan Horizon 2021, which has laid the groundwork for future expansion.
AirBaltic chief executive officer, Martin Gauss (pictured above) said: “As an early adopter of the C Series, we took a forward-looking decision on advanced technology to support our turnaround plan leading to sustainable profitability, and today we are benefiting from the most fuel-efficient small single-aircraft. With demonstrated fuel savings of more than 22 percent the aircraft plays vital role in maintaining our operating cost at a low level.
“In 2017, we experienced outstanding growth and showed the world the unique capabilities and comfort of this innovative aircraft. We successfully executed our fleet modernisation strategy, and are excited to further grow our fleet up to 80 CS300 aircraft while phasing out our other aircraft types in the next three years.”
Gauss added: “We are now commencing the implementation of the next phase of our business strategy – Destination 2025, which foresees airBaltic expanding its operations. A critical part of this new strategy is the introduction of a larger and exclusive fleet of all-CS300 aircraft, which are the most suitable aircraft for the markets in which we operate.”
The new business plan relies on expansion of routes from all three Baltic countries – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, covering essentially the main European cities. The strategy also foresees the airline will achieve a significant increase in passenger numbers and its revenue by 2025.
Deliveries for the new order are scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2019. Prior to this order, airBaltic had ordered 20 CS300 aircraft. Currently the airline is operating revenue service with eight CS300 aircraft, and is expected to take delivery of 12 more by 2019. Based on the list price of the CS300 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $2.9 billion. This amount would increase to nearly $5.9 billion should all 30 purchase rights be exercised.