Latvia’s airBaltic has announced plans for in-house base maintenance capabilities for the Airbus A220-300.
The move is part of the airline’s strategy that will see it completely reshape its fleet by 2022 or 2023, by which it would have phased out other aircraft types and have 80 A220 aircraft. It may be recalled that Airbus took over the Bombardier CSeries 300 and renamed it A220.
The airline’s 34-strong fleet currently consists of 14 Airbus A220-300s, 8 Boeing 737-300/500s and 12 Bombardier Q400 turboprops. The company is forced to resort to outsourcing for heavy checks. Approval for C-checks on the Airbus A220 type is expected in the second half of 2019, according to Andris Vaivads, the airline’s technical director. The first C-check is also scheduled for the same period at the airline’s hangar facilities located at its Riga airport base. The airline is said to be currently in discussions with Riga airport for the construction of another hangar.
The airline has recently acquired additional hangar facilities that can handle three A220-sized aircraft simultaneously, and also rents extra hangar space. The carrier plans to expand its existing maintenance capabilities, taking into account the expected bigger fleet, and will also offer A220 maintenance services to other operators such as Swiss or Korean Air.
The airline recently launched a line maintenance station for its Q400s at Tallinn airport, in Estonia. Using the facility for A220 line maintenance servicing is part of the company;s plan.