AirBaltic gets rid of turboprop aircraft

AirBalticAirBaltic gets rid of turboprop aircraft, which will gradually be replaced. The terms of the replacement depend on the plans for the privatization of the carrier. AirBaltic plans to gradually replace all the 12 Bombardier Q400 with CSeries or Embraer E195-E2 aircraft.

“The era of turboprop aircraft is over”, the CEO of AirBaltic, Martin Gauss. According to him, CS100/300 is considered for the order, but the final choice has not been taken yet. Now in the AirBaltic asset, in addition to the 12 Bombardier Q400, there are seven CS300, while another 13 are waiting for delivery. The next plane will arrive in October or in November, then there will be a break until late spring.

Also, the airline fleet consists of five Boeing 737-500 and six Boeing 737-300 (nine in ownership and two in leasing), which will be sold or returned before 2020.

Gauss hopes that the new order will be announced next year, but in part this depends on plans for privatization of the company. The management hopes that the new shareholder will appear before the end of this year. Since spring, several airlines have expressed interest in buying a share in airBaltic.

Now the state owns 80.5% of the shares and remaining 20% belong to the Danish entrepreneur, the former financial director of Scandinavian airlines Lars Thuesen, who acquired a stake in the company in 2015 from a German investor.