Latvian airline airBaltic is planning to build a new aircraft hangar at Riga Airport. Its aim is to reduce future maintenance costs and “become more efficient”.
The hangar will cover a total area of around 34,500sq m and provide space to handle line and base maintenance for seven A220-300 aircraft simultaneously, airBaltic said. The airline’s fleet consists of 25 A220-300s and third-party maintenance services are expected to be offered to other operators of the type.
A building rights agreement was signed with the airport in 2020, with construction of the new hangar to commence at the beginning of 2022. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
“The new hangar has been in our plans for years, as part of our future expansion,” said airBaltic’s chief executive officer Martin Gauss. “By the time the new hangar will be complete, we will be on our growth path again ensuring the crucial connectivity between the Baltics and the rest of world with almost twice as many A220-300 aircraft as we have today.
“Since 2019, we have been performing all of the maintenance on the aircraft ourselves, and our development with bigger fleet will require an aircraft hangar of a suitable size. As the A220 customer base is growing, we will also be offering heavy maintenance to customers worldwide. It will be one of the largest and most modern aircraft hangars in the region.”
Riga Airport’s chairwoman of the board Laila Odiņa commented: “Construction of the new airBaltic aircraft maintenance hangar at Riga Airport will consolidate the airport’s positions as the main base of the national airline airBaltic, providing and increasing the range and amount of aviation and non-aviation services provided by the airport, promoting the airport’s development and strengthening its leading role in the Baltic Sea region.”
[This video highlights airBaltic’s continued A220-300 C check maintenance operations]