Airbaltic not to halt flights with A220 aircraft

AirBaltic jet in Estonian livery.
AirBaltic jet in Estonian livery. Source: airBaltic

While Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss) has halted all flights operated by Airbus A220-type aircraft due to engine failures, Latvian airline airBaltic is not planning on following suit, as according to the airline, their planes are outfitted with a slightly different type of engine.

AirBaltic very closely follows U.S. engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney's recommendations regarding supplementary engine inspections, which are conducted in accordance with the manufacturer's scheduled and directions, in order to ensure the reliability of airBaltic flights, the airline said on Wednesday. It likewise cooperates closely with Pratt & Whitney as well as aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

Compared with Swiss, airBaltic uses a different type of Pratt & Whitney PW1500G engine, the Latvian airline noted, adding that the manufacturer has confirmed that these engines continue to meet all airworthiness requirements.

U.S. airplane engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney is faced with new inspections of its commercial aircraft engines after an engine failure forced an Airbus A220 operated by Swiss to land in Paris instead of Geneva. Following the incident, Swiss decided to halt all flights to be operated by Airbus A220-type aircraft.

AirBaltic's fleet includes a total of 39 aircraft, 20 of which are Airbus A220s. The airline announced last year that it would be purchasing an additional 30 Airbus A220-300 aircraft with the option to purchase another 30 more for a total cost of up to €4.8 billion. The airline intends to gradually switch over to operating exclusively A220s.

In the first half of 2019, airBaltic has seen turnover of €219.5 million and incurred losses totaling €26.6 million. 80 percent of the airline is owned by the Latvian state; the remaining 20 percent is held by Aircraft Leasing 1 SIA, which is owned in turn by Danish businessman Lars Thuesen.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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