DALLAS — Latvian flag carrier Air Baltic (BT) has returned to an annual operating profit of US$34m, despite having only 3.3 million passengers compared to the pre-pandemic figure of 5 million.
The airline reported revenues of just over US$500m were similar to those of 2019, and the airline’s EBITDAR result of nearly US$130m was higher than the US$125m of that year.
CEO Martin Gauss believes the airline is “on the way back to persistent profitability” and is optimistic about the company’s chances of an initial public offering in 2024. BT operates an all-Airbus A220-300 fleet of 39 aircraft, with a network of over 70 destinations from its Baltic bases.
67% more passengers in January 2023
Last month, BT announced that it had carried 67% more passengers in the first month of 2023 compared with the same month in 2022: 246,800 compared with 147,400.
Additionally, BT performed 3,030 flights in January 2023, up 22% from the 2,480 flights operated in January 2022. This comes as travel in the region recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Latvian flag carrier also became the first European airline to offer free Starlink complimentary high-speed internet on all flights for all passengers, irrespective of class of service.
The carrier’s entire Airbus A220 fleet will be equipped with SpaceX’s Starlink internet connectivity system. Passengers can log in and gain access right from the moment they board the aircraft.
Featured image: Lorenzo Giacobbo/Airways