Latvian airline, airBaltic has announced that it will cease Boeing 737 fleet operations in fall (autumn) 2019, one year ahead of its original phasing out plan. The airline has stated that the reason for the cessation of B737 operations is to minimize complexity by having only aircraft type in its fleet – the Airbus A220-300 – and to benefit from the additional efficiency of the aircraft.
Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic stated, “The Airbus A220-300 is the aircraft of our future and, by phasing out the Boeing 737, we will have the youngest jet fleet in Europe. The introduction of the A220-300 has been very successful and provided the additional efficiency any airline is seeking in the highly competitive aviation market. Thanks to the good overall performance we took a decision to introduce a single type fleet of up to 80 (50 firm order and 30 options) A220-300 aircraft by 2022.”
So far airBaltic has received 14 of its A220-300 orders, and eight new aircraft will join this year. In late 2018, the airline phased out three of its B737-500 aircraft. Currently the airline still operates six B737-300s and two B737-500s.