Category Archives: Air Baltic
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.