Category Archives: airBaltic

airBaltic to resume operations to major cities, all Q400s remain grounded

airBaltic has made this announcement:

After receiving a special permission from the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Latvia, airBaltic will resume direct flights from Riga to Amsterdam on May 25, Hamburg on June 1, Vienna on June 8 and Dusseldorf on June 9.

The company will resume direct flights from Tallinn to Paris on June 1, Vienna on June 2 and Berlin on June 4.

The airline also plans to launch direct flights from Vilnius to Oslo on May 28, 2020.

Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic: “We provide the best connectivity to and from the Baltics. By June 9, we will connect Baltics with more than ten European destinations. By focusing on an all-Airbus A220-300 fleet, we are well positioned for the restart.”

Note: All 12 Bombardier DHC-8-402 Dash 8s (Q400s) remain grounded and are not expected to return becoming an all A220 operator.

airBaltic decided to ground the Q400 fleet on March 16, 2020 due to the pandemic. For the record, YL-BBU operated the last revenue flight (BT318 TLL-RIX) on March 16.

Type Retired: March 16, 2020 (flight BT318 TLL-RIX with YL-BBU)

Above Copyright Photo: airBaltic (airBaltic.com) Bombardier DHC-8-402 (Q400) YL-BAE (msn 4289) ARN (Stefan Sjogren). Image: 905317.

Previously the company operated the last Boeing 737-300 revenue flight (flight BT405 KBP-RIX with YL-BBY) also on March 16, 2020.

“The safety and health of our passengers, our employees and the society stand above all. All of our passengers are now provided with a face mask and disinfectant wipes. Our new flight operations follow the recommendations issued by authorities,” Martin Gauss added.

On May 18, airBaltic has resumed flights from Riga to Tallinn and Vilnius. The airline is also performing daily special flights to Frankfurt and Oslo. airBaltic will also resume flights from Riga to Helsinki, Munich and Berlin.

airBaltic aircraft slide show:

Video:

 

airBaltic to resume flights on May 18 with new measures

As of May 18, airBaltic will resume direct flights from all three Baltic capitals – Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius. To limit the spread of the virus airBaltic  has implemented several new health measures.

As of May 18, before the security check at Riga Airport, passengers’ body temperature will be measured and passengers with a temperature above 37.8°C will be denied boarding. Affected passengers will be informed and instructed on further procedures.

The aircraft cabin disinfection will be done with increased regularity. All passengers on board of airBaltic aircraft will be provided with a complimentary basic care kit consisting of a protective face mask and disinfection wipes. airBaltic passengers will need to wear a protective face mask all time on board during flights.

Also crew members will be wearing a protective face mask and gloves. airBaltic cabin crew are instructed on the steps that have to be taken in case of some passengers on board might be infected with coronavirus, and all aircraft are equipped with the necessary preventive equipment. Additionally, airline will introduce an adjusted inflight service, replacing inflight magazines with disposable information on hygiene and catering menu.

According to the World Health Organization, there is minimal risk of any communicable disease being transmitted onboard an aircraft. The quality of cabin air is carefully controlled and is recirculated with ventilation rates that provide a total change of air 20-30 times per hour. Airbus A220-300 recirculation filter is a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) type filter that provides the best level of filtration currently available for recirculated cabin air.

Passengers are strongly suggested to check the travel regulations and airport restrictions on the official websites or with local embassies before travelling. Regulations are changing rapidly and vary per country, therefore always make sure you have the latest information to have a smooth journey.

airBaltic aircraft photo gallery:

airBaltic further reduces capacity for the upcoming months, parks its last Boeing 737

Type Retired: March 16, 2020 (flight BT405 KBP-RIX with YL-BBY)

airBaltic has made this announcement:

As the Coronavirus crisis continues, significantly affecting demand for air travel, airBaltic is forced to further decrease its overall capacity between April 15 and October 31, 2020, cancelling approximately 50% of its flights. Currently the airline is in the process of adjusting its network and flight schedule according to temporarily reduced fleet in the beginning of restarting the scheduled operations once the crisis is over.

Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic: “Considering the significant impact on the demand, we currently plan to restart our operations gradually. When we will be able to, we will start with a reduced number of aircraft who will serve daily flights to our top routes. With each upcoming week, more aircraft will return to service, offering more flights.”

In addition, airBaltic has made a decision to delay launch of the new routes it had planned for summer season of 2020 from all three Baltic states as well as temporarily discontinue a number of additional routes.

With a reduced schedule, airBaltic was able to early retire its three remaining Boeing 737-300s on March 16, 2020. The type was due to be retired later this year with the arrival of further Airbus A220s.

YL-BBJ – flight BT246 FRA-RIX arriving at 1852 (6:52 pm) local time

YL-BBX – flight BT122 GOT-RIX arriving at 1650 (4:50 pm) local time

YL-BBY – flight BT405 KBP-RIX arriving at 2204 (10:04 pm) local time (the last Boeing 737 revenue flight)

A look back at the early years:

Top Copyright Photo: airBaltic (airBaltic.com) Boeing 737-36Q WL YL-BBY (msn 30335) ZRH (Andi Hiltl). Image: 910834.

airBaltic aircraft slide show:

airBaltic carries face masks and respirators to Latvia

airBaltic made this announcement:

After a request from National Health Service of the Republic of Latvia this weekend airBaltic performed a special cargo flight to and from Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport in China, bringing 900,000 face masks and 80,000 respirators made in Zhengzhou and Yiwu regions to Latvia.

The special flight with airBaltic Airbus A220-300, registered as YL-CSI, departed from Riga on March 28, 2020 at 08:11, local time and landed in Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport at 19:57, local time. The special flight landed back in Riga on March 29 at 00:10 local time.

The total flight time to the Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport was 5 hours and 46 minutes, but the flight back on March 29 took 6 hours and 35 minutes. airBaltic with Airbus A220-300 aircraft covered 4 815 km nonstop distance one way between Riga International Airport and the Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport.

This task was executed in close cooperation with the National Health Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, AirLink Aviation Services and Wish Global.

Overall, 619 boxes, 5.1 tons or 47 cubic meters of approximately 900 000 face masks and 80 000 respirators were carried. Three pilots and two technicians were on board the aircraft to perform the flight.

In order to meet increasing demand for delivery of cargo from China to Europe during COIVD-19 crisis, airBaltic in cooperation with its cargo representative – logistic company Wish Global and technical support of Airlink Aviation Services, has developed supply chain solution for cargo shipments from practically any big city in China to Baltics and beyond using our passenger aircraft, as cargo charters.

All photos by the airline.

airBaltic aircraft photo gallery:

airBaltic suspends all flight operations from March 17

airBaltic has made this announcement:

The Government of the Republic of Latvia made a decision to tighten the security measures and suspend international air traffic starting on March 17 in order to limit the spread of Coronavirus. All airBaltic connections will be temporarily suspended starting on March 17 until April 14, 2020 inclusive, including operations of airBaltic from Estonia and Lithuania.

Following the already announced staff reductions, airBaltic will in the upcoming days be in continued discussions with our staff and unions on details, how the new situation will affect the employment and future of our employees.

airBaltic aircraft photo gallery:

airBaltic to decrease capacity further and reduce staff

airBaltic has made this announcement:

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis in the world and the changing daily environment on the network of airBaltic, the company will reduce the capacity for the upcoming three months further.

In line with the additional capacity reduction, the number of employees, mainly crew, will be temporarily reduced by up to 250 people. The company will seek voluntary solutions, non-extension of probation time, unpaid leave and termination. Today airBaltic informed their employees about the reduction plans during an extraordinary staff briefing.

Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic: “This is a hard, but necessary decision. We had a very positive start of this year in the first two months, but now we are facing extraordinary circumstances. We must do this now to be able to rehire people and be back on our growth path once the situation improves. We will go through this difficult time together and maintain a close dialogue with our employees.”

“Right now, there is no option to continue as usual – flights need to be cancelled, aircraft grounded, we see a sharp and unexpected decline in bookings. But we are certain that the situation will get back to normal. We sincerely hope for understanding among our colleagues and the Latvian society in these difficult times,” Martin Gauss adds.

As of March 11, airBaltic has cancelled a total of 580 flights from March 31 until May 31. Due to health and safety reasons as well as actions taken by authorities, airBaltic has temporarily suspended flights to Milan and Verona until the end of April, while to Rome and Tel Aviv – until the end of May.

airBaltic aircraft photo gallery:

airBaltic cancels all flights to and from Milan and Verona due to coronavirus

airBaltic made this announcement:

Due to health and safety reasons airBaltic has made decision at the moment to immediately suspend all flights to/from Milan and Verona until the end of April. Passengers who have bookings for the affected flights will be contacted individually.

On March 8, 2020, airBaltic received information that one passenger traveling on March 7 flight BT630 from Milan was diagnosed with the Covid-19 coronavirus. airBaltic has provided all necessary information about BT630 flight and is working closely with Latvian authorities.

In line with the preventive measures of the airline the complete disinfection of the aircraft will be finished in the upcoming hours. The aircraft already had an additional disinfection on March 7. The involved cabin crew has been temporarily freed from further duties.

Passengers who traveled on this flight can contact The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of their corresponding country. The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia will inform the responsible authorities of the countries whose nationals were flying on the flight.

airBaltic aircraft photo gallery:

airBaltic reduces flights to Milan

airBaltic has made a decision to temporarily decrease the number of flights from Riga to Milan, Italy between March 23 and May 31, 2020.

Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic: “Over the last days we have seen a significant reduction in short-term forward bookings for the Milan destination and therefore a decision has been taken by airBaltic to reduce the amount of flights.”

“Even though short-term demand for travel to Milan and Verona has decreased, we see that the interest for travel to Italy, especially for the summer months, remains high. In the summer season, airBaltic plans to relaunch its seasonal flights to Catania, Olbia and Venice,” Martin Gauss added.

Between March 23 and May 31, 2020, airBaltic will continue to offer two weekly flights from Riga to Milan. Passengers who already have bookings for the affected flights to Milan from March 23 until May 31 will be rebooked on other flights. In addition, the passengers will be offered to rebook their affected reservations free of charge to another airBaltic destination in the vicinity – Zurich, Geneva, Munich or Vienna instead of Milan.

Until March 23, airBaltic currently plans to continue operating flights from Riga to Milan and Verona according to the planned schedule.

We encourage passengers to follow the recommendations issued by health institutions and regularly wash their hands as well as follow other basic hygiene principles. According to World Health Organization, there is very little risk of any communicable disease being transmitted on board an aircraft. To further decrease the risk, organization encourages travellers who are unwell to delay their journey until they have recovered.

airBaltic aircraft photo gallery:

airBaltic increases Riga–Tbilisi flight frequency

airBaltic continues its route network extension and flight schedule improvements by adding new routes and frequencies this year. For the summer season, which will begin in late March, airBaltic introduces an additional Riga–Tbilisi flight on Saturday afternoons.

The new additional flight will commence on April 4, 2020. In total, airBaltic will operate up to eight flights weekly between Riga and Tbilisi, aiming to increase the capacity on the route by 8% this year.

airBaltic traffic to Tbilisi continues to grow each year. In 2019, airBaltic carried 26% more passengers than in 2018. Around two-thirds of all passengers travelling to and from Tbilisi with airBaltic have chosen Riga as a convenient transfer hub. Most popular connections are among others two other Baltic capitals Tallinn and Vilnius, Nordic capitals Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, Helsinki, as well as Amsterdam, London among others.

airBaltic aircraft photo gallery:

airBaltic has a great 2019, sees a passenger increase of 22%

airBaltic in 2019 has carried 5,049,317 passengers or 22% more than the year before to its network. It is the highest number of passengers carried in airline’s history.

In 2019, airBaltic operated a total of 62,748 flights or 12% more than in 2018. The airline’s load factor, which represents the number of passengers as a proportion of the number of available seats, was at a level of 76% in 2019.

In 2020, airBaltic continues its expansion in the Baltics and will launch 14 new routes, including four new direct destinations from Tallinn, Estonia, and five new destinations from Vilnius, Lithuania.

airBaltic aircraft photo gallery: