Category Archives: Air Baltic

AirBaltic to replace Bombardier Q400s with jets


Latvian carrier airBaltic, which is in the process of being reprivatized, plans to phase out its 12 Bombardier Q400s and replace them with either CSeries or Embraer E195-E2s.
“We will be announcing an order to replace the Q400s.    The decision to replace our Q400s with jets has already been taken, so it just a question of when we announce the order.    The turboprop era is over, so we are going jet,” airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss told ATW in an exclusive interview.
Riga-based airBaltic currently operates 12 Q400s.    This was meant to rise to 14, but the airline is sticking at 12 after taking the decision to transition to an all-jet fleet.   The Q400s will come off lease around 2021-22, although airBaltic is considering bringing in the jet replacements around 2019-20 and subleasing the Q400s until the end of their terms.
Gauss said the E195-E2s and CS100/300 are in the running for the order, which would cover at least 14 replacement aircraft and possibly more for growth.    The final selection has not yet been announced.
Riga-based airBaltic already operates seven CS300s and has another 13 awaiting delivery.    The next aircraft will arrive in October or November, but then there will be a break until late spring, with the next six aircraft will join the fleet through summer 2018.