Estonia: airBaltic’s decision to buy 60 aircraft is surprising – investments might not pay off
Estonia’s national Nordic Aviation Group believes the decision made by Latvia’s airBaltic airline to procure up to 60 new Bombardier CS300 aircraft may be a sign of this airline entering the low-cost airline market for major companies. This could allow Nordica enhance its positions on the regional flights market.
This kind of number of aircraft is too large for the Baltic region and for investments to pay off in the end
Nordic Aviation Group chairman Jāns Tamms told BNS that airBaltic’s choice in favour of CS300 and the number of aircraft planned to be procured shows that airBaltic is preparing to enter the largescale passenger transport market currently ruled by companies like Norwegian, Ryanair, Wizzair, easyJet and others.
«It will not be easy, but I wish them luck,» says Tamms.
«If we look at Nordica in this context, this is good news for us and a beneficial turn, because our competitor in the region will start focusing on the market sector different from our own. It will give us an opportunity to become stronger in our sector – servicing regional routes. It would be good if the Baltic region had one strong lowcost airline and one strong company servicing regional flights,» comments Tamms.
«As the head of an airline, I am more interested in the business those aircraft are planned for,» he said. «It is clear that such a number of aircraft is too large for the Baltic region. There are not enough people here for investments to pay off,» he added. Latvia’s national airBaltic airline and Bombardier Commercial Aircraft have announced the signing of a procurement contract for 30 Bombardier CS300 aircraft with option to procure 30 more in the future. This order is an addition to the one signed for the provision of 20 CS300 aircraft. It also forms the foundation for airBaltic’s Destination 2025 business plan, continuing the previous Horizon 2021 plan. Delivery of the new aircraft is planned to commence in Q4 2019. Latvia’s airBaltic fleet has 31 aircraft, 8 of which are Bombardier CS300, 11 are Boeing 737 and 12 are Bombardier Q400 NextGen. airBaltic concern’s general revenue was EUR 353,639 million in 2017, which is 19.6% more when compared to 2016. airBaltic provides direct flight connectivity from Riga to more than 70 destinations in Scandinavia, Europe, Russia, CIS and Middle East.