Latvian airline airBaltic will grow its Bombardier Q400 NextGen fleet by 50% this summer.
The brand new aircraft will be phased in airBaltic operations from early May to July, as they leave the manufacturing facility in Toronto, Canada.
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “The Q400 NextGen turboprop is an excellent aircraft, and we are delighted to continue our transition to an all-Bombardier fleet. This is a step ahead in building a more uniform fleet of 2 aircraft types and will improve our efficiency, save on fuel and cost, and reduce environmental footprint.”
The four new aircraft will be operated in airBaltic’s network of 60 destinations in Europe, Middle East, the CIS and will join eight Q400 NextGen airliners flying from the Riga base for the past three years.
airBaltic will lease the new aircraft from Nordic Aviation Capital A/S (NAC) of Billund, Denmark who have earlier signed a firm purchase agreement with Bombardier Aerospace to acquire four Q400 NextGen airliners. Based on the list price of the Q400 NextGen airliner, the fleet addition is valued at approximately $134.77 million US.
The new Q400 NextGen will be instrumental for airBaltic’s initiative to become the first airline in Europe to start green flying for turboprop aircraft, announced early this year. The project, known as AMBER, will shorten the distances flown, improve flight trajectories to avoid residential areas and reduce people’s exposure to noise, as well as cut fuel consumption and emissions. The new trajectory will be up to 30 nautical miles shorter towards runway than what is being flown today, and will enable reducing CO2 emissions by up to 300 kg on every Q400 flight. When rolled out to its full scale, the green flying will reduce CO2 emissions by 5 000 000 kilograms annually for airBaltic.airBaltic serves 60 destinations from its home base in Riga, Latvia. airBaltic offers convenient connections via North Hub Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS and the Middle East. For summer 2013, airBaltic has introduced six new destinations - Prague (Czech Republic), Heviz-Balaton (Hungary), Olbia (Sardinia, Italy), Rijeka (Croatia), Larnaca (Cyprus), and Malta.