Airbaltic Accelerates 737 Retirement

Photo: airBaltic

 

Latvian flag carrier airbaltic has announced it will phase out its Boeing 737-300s and -500s more quickly than anticipated. The type’s flight is expected to take place in autumn 2019, a year earlier than the airline had planned.

The carrier’s CEO, Martin Gauss, said: “[The Airbus] A220-300 is the aircraft of our future and, by phasing out the Boeing 737, we will have the youngest jet fleet in Europe. The introduction of Airbus A220-300 has been very successful and provided the additional efficiency any airline is seeking in the highly competitive aviation market. Thanks to the good overall performance we took a decision to introduce a single type fleet of up to 80 (50 firm order and 30 options) Airbus A220-300 aircraft by 2022.”

Airbaltic has so far received 14 Airbus A220s and eight more are due to be delivered by the end of the year. It retired three 737-500s in late 2018, however, six 737-300s and two -500s remain. While the airline intends to operate a single type fleet by 2022, it hasn’t detailed plans for the phasing out of its 11 Bombardier Q400s.

The airline has recently announced that it will begin services to Dublin, Kos, Menorca, Stuttgart and Lviv from this summer. Two A220-300s will be wet-leased to Lufthansa for the summer season, operating flights from Munich to Bucharest, Budapest, Luxembourg and Lyon.

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