Latvian flag carrier airBaltic has announced it will wet lease four Airbus A320s during the summer season this year.
The airline – which operates a 39-strong fleet exclusively comprising A220s – says the move will enable it to meet increasing passenger demand and ensure completion of planned flights throughout the peak months.
The Riga-based firm has selected Lithuanian narrowbody ACMI and charter operator Avion Express to provide the quartet of 180-seat jets.
Two of the aircraft will operate out of the Riga base, starting from March 26 to October 28, while one will fly from Vilnius and another in Tallinn, from May 1 to October 28.
Martin Gauss, president and CEO of airBaltic, said: “Although the challenges, caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine [are] still being felt, the aviation industry is gradually stabilising. As a result, passenger demand for air travel is increasing. At the same time, the industry as a whole continues to face technical parts supply chain issues, which means we need additional capacity to carry all passengers, avoiding flight cancellations. Therefore, this summer airBaltic will be cooperating with Avion Express, whose aircraft offer even more seats, thus allowing us to carry a greater number of passengers.”
The airframes selected are 9H-AMI (c/n 3409), 9H-AMK (c/n 3562), 9H-MLY (c/n 3943), 9H-MLX (c/n 4888). The jets were first delivered to Wizz Air, Wizz Air Bulgaria, IndiGo, while the latter two flew initially with IndiGo, respectively. They were all manufactured between 2008 and 2011.
Prior to the partnership agreement, airBaltic says it has conducted a full technical and quality inspection of all the aircraft to ensure they are up to standard.
The wet-leased narrowbodies are expected to be available in two configurations, with burgundy red leather seats and blue textile seats. The onboard ambiance will feature airBaltic-branded white headrest covers, Baltic Outlook inflight magazine, and the airline’s safety cards.