LONDON – Latvian national airline airBaltic (BT) says goodbye to its Boeing 737: YL-BBX is now headed to its new owner, Magnetic RMO. At the end of this year, Magnetic RMO will have bought three Boeing 737s from BT.

airBaltic Boeing 737-300. Photo: Björn Strey from Wikimedia Commons.

Statment from airBaltic CEO

Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic, said, “Since May 2020, airBaltic operates all of its flights with a single aircraft type – Airbus A220-300, thus minimizing the complexity and benefiting from the additional efficiency provided by the aircraft. Yet Boeing 737 aircraft were a notable part of the airBaltic fleet for 17 years. They served as our breakthrough, helping to establish ourselves as a strong regional carrier.”

The Latvian carrier introduced the first Boeing 737s in 2003. In 20 years, several Boeing 737 models have carried more than 22 million people and have totaled 280,000 flights worldwide.

airBaltic’s Airbus A220-300 during take off from RWY 25 in Rome Fiumicino Intl’ Airport (FCO). Photo: Andrea Ongaro

The Single Aisle Planes of the Moment according to airBaltic

On November 29, BT signed an agreement with Airbus for the supply of new A220-300s, in effect replacing BT’s existing Boeing 737-300 and Boeing 737-500.

With 27 A220-300s in its fleet (two of which were delivered simultaneously a few days ago), the carrier has another 23 coming for a total of 50 A220-300s, which will make BT the largest A220-300 operator worldwide.

As mentioned in Simpleflying, Mr. Gauss said, “If you have very, very high passenger numbers on a city pair, you would rather have 239 seater aircraft, because then your cost per seat goes down. But right now we don’t see that. And I think for quite a while, these very high passenger numbers on point to point are not there, and therefore I’d rather go with 145 seater. I’m very happy having a business class and an ultra-low-cost economy combined in one aircraft.” 

Its high fuel-efficiency – up to 20% better fuel-burn than other aircraft in the same range – coupled with a comfortable medium-haul range of up to seven hours will see the carrier bounce back quickly along with demand.

Featured image: AirBaltic Boeing 737. Photo: airBaltic