Air Baltic to buy A220 simulator for pilot training needs

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12 MArch 2019 by Michael Gubisch, London for

Latvian carrier Air Baltic has ordered an Airbus A220 full-flight simulator from CAE for installation at the operator’s training centre in Riga.

The Level D device from CAE’s 7000XR series is Air Baltic‘s first directly purchased simulator and is scheduled for delivery by year-end, Air Baltic says.

Noting a plan to move to an expanded, all-A220 fleet, chief executive Martin Gauss states that its own simulator will provide “much desired training simplicity and cost reductions”. The carrier will require capacity to train hundreds of new and existing pilots.

So far, Air Baltic has trained its crews on an A220 simulator in Frankfurt, which is operated by CAE-Lufthansa joint venture Flight Training Alliance.

Asset Image
Air Baltic plans to operate an all-A220 fleet from 2023, from Air Baltic

ASwiss has an A220 simulator at its home base in Zurich. But while Air Baltic‘s A220s are equipped with head-up displays, Swiss opted not to install the equipment on its aircraft.

Another A220 simulator is available near the aircraft’s Canadian assembly line in Mirabel, Quebec.

Air Baltic‘s simulator will be the third such device in Europe, and feature “the most modern visual system… for unprecedented realism”, the airline says.

Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows that Air Baltic has 14 A220-300s in service, another 36 on order, and further commitments for up to 30 more.

The carrier also operates 737-300/500s and Bombardier Q400 turboprops, but plans to retire these aircraft in 2019 and 2023, respectively.