Latvian airline airBaltic is to operate a single-type fleet of 39 Airbus A220-30 after returning its last Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop back to regional lessor Nordic Aviation Capital.
Martin Gauss, president and CEO of airBaltic said: “The last redelivery flight marks an official end to our previous stage of development. The Q400, definitely, was an excellent performance aircraft, which at the time helped us to get where we are today – flying the most efficient and greenest fleet in Europe.”
“Although a smaller plane allows more flexibility occasionally, a single-type fleet has significant advantages – both economic and technical in terms of maintenance, and also in terms of sustainability and training. We are thankful to Bombardier for service; it was a journey that is recorded in our history. Now we are looking forward and are delighted how the Airbus A220-300 has transformed our airline, becoming one of the core and very valuable assets of the company,” Gauss added.
The first Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft joined airBaltic back in 2010. Over the years, 12 different Q400s have carried more than 11 million passengers in total and have performed over 222,000 flights all across the Europe.
airBaltic operates from Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius as well as Tampere, connecting them with leading European business centres and transit hubs.
The carrier’s farewell to the Q400 came five days after Horizon Air held a similar ceremony as it commemorated the last commercial flight of the Q400 on January 26 between Spokane and Seattle – exactly 22 years after its first revenue flight for Horizon on January 26, 2001.