DALLAS – European airlines are currently planning their strategy for the winter, which is expected to show the best results in decades as demand for leisure travel recovers from the COVID-19 crisis. airBaltic (BT) has now announced the launch of a new base in the Spanish Canary Islands with new routes to the Baltic States, Norway, Denmark, and Finland.
The airline will offer flights to almost all of Scandinavia, not from the Baltics, by opening a base at one of the top touristic destinations in the South of Spain, by basing a total of two Airbus A220-300 aircraft on the island of Gran Canaria (LPA) between October 2023 and March 2024.
Martin Gauss, CEO at BT, said, “We have identified an opportunity to optimize our capacity to be as efficient as possible by establishing a seasonal base and operating two aircraft from Las Palmas to serve the demand for sunny and leisure destinations. Such expanded presence in Gran Canaria not only enhances connectivity but also provides passengers with a wide range of convenient travel options.”
By basing these two airplanes at LPA, the carrier will optimize crew rotation efficiency and maximize aircraft utilization. Apart from the base in Gran Canaria, airBaltic will continue serving flights to Tenerife Airport (TFS) as well from its four current bases in the Baltic Sea: Riga (RIX), Tallinn (TLL), Vilnius (VNO), and Tampere (TMP).
airBaltic’s Schedule from Gran Canaria
With the launch of the new base in the Canary Islands, airBaltic will now offer ten direct routes between LPA and six different countries in Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Finland, and Denmark.
To Norway, the company will fly to three destinations from early December: Bergen (BGO), Oslo-Sandefjord Torp (TRF), and Gardermoen (OSL), with two weekly connections to each. Denmark will receive five total weekly flights to three cities: Billund (BLL), Copenhagen (CPH), and Aalborg (AAL).
Finally, airBaltic will maintain its fixed presence from all of its four permanent bases in Riga (RIX), Vilnius (VNO), Tallinn (TLL), and Tampere (TMP), with six total frequencies to LPA during the winter season of 2023.
Full Reliability on the Airbus A220
airBaltic keeps expanding its route network as its ambitious strategy of placing itself as one of the leading Nordic carriers in Europe advances at an incredible pace. The airline currently provides flights to more than 70 destinations in Europe and the Middle East, and part of the success of BT has been attributed to the incredible performance of the Airbus A220 aircraft.
At the moment of writing, the Baltic carrier owns and operates a fleet of 42 A220-300s, which can carry up to 145 passengers in a single-class configuration. To celebrate the delivery of the 40th unit (YL-ABN), BT unveiled a unique scheme on the airplane featuring the Latvian flag on the fuselage.
AirBaltic is wet-leasing a big part of its Airbus A220 fleet to other European carriers such as Swiss (LX) and Scandinavian Airlines (SK). At the same time as it is utilizing third-party aircraft from Avion Express (X9), Smartwings (QS) and Carpatair (V3) to cover its own European operations.
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Featured image: Lorenzo Giacobbo/Airways.