airBaltic Completes Turboprop Fleet Modernisation

Latvian airline airBaltic has received the last of its Bombardier Q400 NextGen thus growing the modern turboprop fleet by 50% this summer. The brand new aircraft were phased in airBaltic operations from early May.

Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “The Q400 NextGen turboprop is an excellent aircraft, and we are delighted to continue our transition to an all-Bombardier fleet. This is a step ahead in building a more uniform fleet of 2 aircraft types and will improve our efficiency, save on fuel and cost, and reduce environmental footprint.

This move also means retiring the last Fokker 50 that was mainly flying as a spare aircraft lately. We are now delighted to have one of the youngest turboprop fleets across Europe.”

The four new aircraft are operated in airBaltic’s network of 60 destinations in Europe, Middle East, the CIS and they join eight Q400 NextGen airliners flying from the Riga base for the past three years.

The new Q400 NextGen is instrumental for airBaltic’s initiative to become the first airline in Europe to start green flying for turboprop aircraft, announced early this year. The project, known as AMBER, will shorten the distances flown, improve flight trajectories to avoid residential areas and reduce people’s exposure to noise, as well as cut fuel consumption and emissions. The new trajectory will be up to 30 nautical miles shorter towards runway than what is being flown today, and will enable reducing CO2 emissions by up to 300 kg on every Q400 flight. When rolled out to its full scale, the green flying will reduce CO2 emissions by 5 000 000 kilograms annually for airBaltic.

airBaltic serves 60 destinations from its home base in Riga, Latvia. airBaltic offers convenient connections via North Hub Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East. For summer 2013, airBaltic has introduced six new destinations - Prague (Czech Republic), Heviz-Balaton (Hungary), Olbia (Sardinia, Italy), Rijeka (Croatia), Larnaca (Cyprus), and Malta.

airBaltic photos: http://www.airbaltic.com/public/downloads.html

airBaltic in brief:

AIR BALTIC CORPORATION (airBaltic) is a joint stock company that was established in 1995. The primary shareholder is Latvian state with 99.8% of stock. The airBaltic fleet consists of 25 aircraft – five Boeing 737-500, eight Boeing 737-300 and twelve Bombardier Q400Next Gen. For summer 2013, airBaltic will temporarily operate B757-200 aircraft on high-demand routes. airBaltic offers nonstop flights from three Baltic capital cities – Riga, Vilnius, and Tallinn. airBaltic received the title of Airline of the Year 2009/2010 (Gold Award) from the European Regions Airline Association. airBaltic is the winner of Air Transport World Phoenix Award 2010 – a global recognition of excellence in restructuring business. airBaltic won a special Pacesetter Award 2010 from the Jury of the Budgies World Low Cost Airline Awards, recognising achievements of airBaltic as a hybrid airline. In 2012, airBaltic was ranked by Airlinetrends among the Top 10 airlines globally for innovations.

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