Tag Archives: airBaltic

CS300 Makes Commercial Debut

Launch customer airBaltic has successfully debuted the Bombardier CS300 on its Riga-Amsterdam service.  The first commercial flight of the type carried 120 passengers, including local media.

CEO Martin Gauss said: “airBaltic has been counting down the days to this landmark moment.  During its maiden commercial flight today, the CS300 aircraft performed beyond our expectations and offered a new level of travel experience for our customers.  We look forward to serving many communities across Western Europe and the Eastern markets with the CS300 aircraft – the largest variant in the world’s most efficient and environmentally friendly family of airliners.”

The Riga-based carrier has ordered 20 CS300s which it is operating in a 145-seat, two-class configuration.

Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said: “The CS300 aircraft’s entry-into-service also confirms Bombardier’s successful execution on our commitment to deliver the only all-new family of single-aisle airliners in the 100- to 150-seat market in 30 years.”

Rob Dewar, Vice President, C Series Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, added: “Today’s commercial flight highlights the remarkable journey between airBaltic and Bombardier as the CS300 aircraft is brought to market.  We salute airBaltic, our employees, suppliers and industry stakeholders for their steadfast loyalty to the success of the C Series aircraft program.”

Amsterdam Debut for airBaltic CS300

Launch carrier airBaltic will debut the new Bombardier CS300 on its Riga to Amsterdam connection on December 14.

Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic said: “CS300 is a great aircraft, and a great improvement for our customers this Christmas.  We are delighted to announce that the historic first airBaltic commercial flight with Bombardier CS300 will link Riga with Amsterdam.”

The first CS300 for airBaltic at Bombardier's Mirabel plant. Bombardier
The first CS300 for airBaltic at Bombardier’s Mirabel plant. Bombardier

Flight BT619 departs Riga at 1625hrs arriving at Schiphol at 1750hrs.  The return service, BT620, departs the Dutch city at 1855hrs arriving back in Latvia at 2210hrs.

The Riga-based airline is expected to take delivery of its first of 20 examples in early December, with the 145-seat aircraft planned to make its UK debut at Gatwick on January 7.

airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss and Bombardier's Rob Dewar. Bombardier
airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss and Bombardier’s Rob Dewar. Bombardier


Bombardier Adjusts C Series Delivery Schedule

Delays in the suuply of Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower PW1500G engine have led Bombardier to revise its C Series delivery schedule.

The Canadian manufacturer had planned to hand over 15 aircraft by the end of the year but this has been adjusted to seven.

“The C Series engine is performing very well in service.  We are working very closely with Pratt & Whitney to quickly address this supplier ramp-up issue and to ensure we have a strong supplier base to support our long-term growth objectives,” explained Fred Cromer, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.  “We are very confident in our production ramp-up plan, including our ability to meet our production goal of 90 to 120 aircraft per year by 2020.”

Bombardier has handed over two CS100s to Swiss with a third due for delivery next month.  The manufacturer says the first example of the larger CS300 remains on track to be delivered to launch operator airBaltic in the fourth quarter.

The two aircraft in service with Swiss have flown nearly 400 revenue flights, totalling almost 600 flight hours, and Cromer says their performance has been good.

“We are very pleased with the performance of the C Series during its entry-into-service with our launch customer Swiss,” he revealed.  “The aircraft is meeting all expectations and clearly demonstrating that it is the best performing and most efficient aircraft in the 100- to 150-seat class.”

Last week, Bombardier confirmed that it had received the second and final $500m instalment of the Government of Québec’s investment in the C Series programme.

C Series Fuels Network Growth for airBaltic

Bombardier CS300 launch operator airBaltic will begin direct flights from Riga to Abu Dhabi as part of a network expansion facilitated by the new aircraft.

The Latvian carrier will receive six of its 20 CS300s this year, with the first due for delivery in October and Chief Executive Officer Martin Gauss explained that while the jets will be phased in gradually they will cover the entire network “sooner or later”.

One of the challenges airBaltic gave Bombardier was to enable direct flights between the airline’s Riga base and Abu Dhabi, a journey of 2,338nm (4,333km).  At the Farnborough International Airshow, Rob Dewar, Vice President CSeries Aircraft Program, confirmed that the range for airBaltic out of Riga was 2,469nm (4,573km).  Amongst the host of new services the airline is looking to introduce are links from Riga to Manchester, Dublin and Reykjavik.

“The CS300 will enable us to serve destinations which we were not able to in the past.  We can use the aircraft on all destinations airBaltic has, even on the short ones,” Gauss told journalists during a CS300 briefing at Farnborough.  Gauss told Airliner World that flights to Abu Dhabi would not start this year.  “We will decide when we come to the schedule and planning over the next year.”  He said that the link to Abu Dhabi would be a “normal flight” and that turnaround times would be no different to the airline’s current operations.

As part of its mission to become a pan-Baltic carrier, the airline is also operating flights from Tallinn in Estonia and Vilnius in Lithuania and these will also be served by the C Series.

With the first aircraft due to be delivered in October, focus is switching to the CS300’s entry into service (EIS) and Gauss is aware that there will be a lot of attention placed on both the manufacturer and the carrier.  The airBaltic CEO said that there was no formal agreement in place with CS100 launch operator Swiss but the two airlines were exchanging information during the EIS phase.

No announcement has been made on which destinations the CS300 will serve first.  “We are finalising it and we will announce it in September, together with Bombardier,” Gauss told Airliner World.  “We can fly to any destination but for the entry into service of course there is a lot of demand.”

The airline’s aircraft will be fitted with 145 seats and a curtain will be used to divide the Business and Economy cabins.  Gauss revealed airBaltic’s jets would feature Bombardier’s built-in in-flight entertainment system enabling the carrier to provide passengers with gate information, a moving map, safety demonstration videos and other customisable content.  He confirmed that the airline would introduce Wi-Fi to the CS300 but that it wasn’t fitted on the initial example.

#FIA16: Bombardier CS300 Awarded Type Certification

Bombardier is celebrating Type Certification of its CS300 airliner by Transport Canada. The achievement was announced on day one of the Farnborough International Airshow.

The first CS300 for launch operator airBaltic is currently in production at Mirabel, Québec, and is scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter.

“The CS300 aircraft certification process was very straightforward because of the over 99% commonality with the CS100 model,” said Robert Dewar, Vice President, C Series Aircraft Program, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “The C Series flight test program covered more than 5,000 hours and most of the data obtained covered both models.

“We are delighted that operators will be getting C Series aircraft that have exceeded expectations, in particular on airfield performance,” Dewar added. “We can now confirm a range improvement in excess of 20% out of hot-and-high airports such as Denver, Mexico City or Lhasa.”

François Caza, Vice President, Product Development and Chief Engineer and Head of Bombardier’s Design Approval Organization, added: “Obtaining the CS300 Type Certification is another validation of the sustained efforts deployed by Bombardier employees and our many valued suppliers. Their contributions have ensured that we have all-new, best-in-class aircraft that will serve operators well for many years to come.”

Certification follows the handover of the maiden CS100 to Swiss International Air Lines on June 29. The type will enter revenue service on Friday.

airBaltic Firms up Options

Riga-based airBaltic has signed a purchase agreement with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft to convert its remaining seven options for CS300 aircraft into firm orders.  This brings the Latvian carrier’s total firm orders for the type to 20.  The original order for ten firm CS300 and ten options was announced on December 20, 2012, with the airline converting three options in February 2014.  airBaltic will become the first customer in the world to operate this variant of the C Series when it takes delivery of its first example in the second half of this year.  Bombardier said the value of this latest contract was $506 million, based on list prices.

Martin Gauss, airBaltic’s CEO, said: “Our fleet modernisation continues as we proudly increase our all-new CS300 to a fleet of 20 technologically-advanced jetliners in order to support our ‘Horizon 2021’ business plan.  This will substantially improve the connectivity of the Baltic region with Western Europe and the Eastern markets – all of which will help stimulate the economies of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, and create new jobs.  The CS300 will improve our passenger experience and convenience as we position ourselves for growth, reaching new destinations due to the increased capabilities of our new jets joining us later this year.”

A Sneaky Peek

As the launch customer of the Bombardier CS300, airBaltic’s senior management, including Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board Martin Gauss, paid a visit to the Canadian manufacturer’s Mirabel, Montréal final assembly line to see the progress of the carrier’s first aircraft.