Low Cost & Regional

airBaltic shores up SWISS winter schedules with six-aircraft wet lease deal

European low cost carrier airBaltic is to support SWISS throughout the approaching winter season to help stabilise the flag carrier’s flight schedules and ease cabin crew recruitment issues.

The collaboration will take the form of a wet-lease agreement under which Air Baltic will perform flights on SWISS’ behalf operating up to six of airBaltic’s Airbus A220-300 aircraft throughout SWISS’ European route network adding to its own fleet of 21 twinjets of that type.

“This collaboration with airBaltic will enable us to further stabilise our own flight schedules and give our customers even greater reliability for making their travel plans,” said SWISS chief commercial officer Tamur Goudarzi Pour. “On top of this, it should also help further relieve the present pressures on our cabin crew corps.”

“airBaltic is an ideal wet-lease partner for us,” he added. “Like us, they operate the highly advanced, innovative and ecofriendly Airbus A220-300. And they have already performed flights for other airlines of the Lufthansa Group this summer with impressive reliability.”

He said the new collaboration with airBaltic is also viewed as a complement to SWISS’s existing partnership with Helvetic Airways which operates six aircraft all year round on SWISS’s behalf. “Further Helvetic Airways equipment may also be flexibly deployed on SWISS routes in future to cover peaks in demand,” the carrier said.

While SWISS said it will continue to recruit and train more of its own cabin personnel to help ease current workforce staffing issues, airBaltic admitted that its operations have been challenged by aircraft maintenance issues this summer. In its onboard customer magazine airBaltic chief executive Martin Gauss wrote: “You might have booked your flight with a different airline, as we have already 24 codeshare partners and serve as the operating airline for them. This flight might even be on an aircraft that is not one of our Airbus A220-300, this due to the fact that supply chain issues are forcing some of our aircraft to wait for spare parts during routine maintenance intervals.”

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