The parties have entered into a purchase agreement for the purchase of 30 CS300 aircraft and retain the option to order another 30 aircraft of the same type.
The total amount of the contract in monetary terms was not disclosed, but Martin Gauss, President of airBaltic, said that from a list of prices in the CS300 catalog, the total value of the aircraft could be up to USD 5.5 billion or EUR 4.7 billion. . It is planned to invest airBaltic funds in the purchase of aircraft, as well as to attract a loan. However, how exactly to finance the renewal of the fleet will be decided while working on the purchase of specific aircraft.
Deliveries of the new aircraft are scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019.
Gauss noted that this order will complement the existing order of 20 CS300 aircraft and will form the basis of airBaltic’s new business plan “Destination 2025”, continuing the current airline business plan “Horizon 2021”.
“As the world’s first airline to launch CS300 aircraft, we made a forward-looking decision in favor of the latest technology that ensures the company’s sustainable profitability. As the CS300 saves more than 22% of fuel, it allows us to keep operating costs low. In 2017, we saw outstanding growth and proven to the world the unique capabilities and conveniences of this innovative aircraft, and we have successfully embarked on a fleet modernization and are pleased to increase the fleet to 80 CS300 aircraft, which will replace other aircraft in the coming years. , “stressed Gauss.
He noted that the business strategy “Destination 2025” envisages that airBaltic will expand the company’s operations. A key component of the new business plan is the creation of a larger and more exclusive fleet, consisting only of CS300 aircraft, which are best suited to the airBaltic market.
The new business plan “Destination 2025” is based on the expansion of routes from all three Baltic States – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania – providing regular connections to major European cities. The strategy envisages that airBaltic will achieve a significant increase in passenger numbers and revenues by 2025, Gauss said, adding that with this new aircraft order, airBaltic will have all the prerequisites to be able to secure a stable future.
On Monday, Minister of Transport Uldis Augulis (ZZS) admitted to journalists that 2017 was the most successful year in the history of airBaltic, achieving very high operational and financial results. This serves as proof of the right choice of airline strategy and operating model.
According to Augulis, the purchase of additional new aircraft is the largest investment in the history of Latvia, which plays an important role in the development of Latvia’s air infrastructure and ensuring the connectivity of the Baltic region, thus promoting economic growth and creating new jobs.
The Minister said that it was important to take into account that “competitors do not fall asleep”, so such an investment is only a natural continuation of airBaltic’s development. According to Augulis, the development of Riga International Airport should also continue.
Fred Kromer, President of Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, emphasized that airBaltic’s new order is a testament to airBaltic’s outstanding operational results.
“The C-Series program continues to thrive in the market. This significant order, again from airBaltic, the first to launch the CS300, is a strong demonstration of the aircraft’s outstanding operational performance. We are also proud that the CS300 helped airBaltic maintain its position as the world’s most punctual airline. The C-Series is a market leader in its type of aircraft. airBaltic has played a key role in proving its value. Over the past 18 months, we have seen airBaltic play an increasingly important role in the market, “said Kromer. .
airBaltic’s fleet consists of 31 aircraft, eight of which are Bombardier CS300, 11 Boeing 737 and 12 Bombardier Q400 NextGen.
LETA has already reported that the airBaltic Group’s total revenue last year was 353.639 million euros, which is 19.6% more than in 2016, while the group’s profit increased several times, reaching 4.703 million euros.
airBaltic provides direct flights from Riga to more than 70 destinations, offering connections to destinations on the airline’s route network in Scandinavia, Europe, Russia, the CIS and the Middle East. airBaltic also offers direct flights from Tallinn and Vilnius.
The Latvian state owns 80.05% of airBaltic’s shares, while the financial investor, Danish businessman Lars Tussen, owns Aircraft Leasing 1 – almost 20% of the shares.