AirBaltic to halt operations for one month

An AirBaltic Airbus A220-300. Photo: © Phillip Rohmberger / IFN

AirBaltic has announced that it will suspend all flight operations for one month, following a decision by the Latvian government to ban international flights from March 17 to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

The Riga-based airline says it will also cancel its flights to and from its secondary bases in Estonia and Lithuania. The suspension is starting on March 17, operations are not due to resume before April 15.

AirBaltic is working intensively to assist all passengers affected. Due to the amount of rebookings needed, we ask for understanding from our customers that we are doing our utmost to deal with this extraordinary situation.Martin Gauss, CEO of AirBaltic

This comes in the middle of the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, that has forced airlines around the world to make severe cuts to their flight networks. On Friday, LOT Polish Airlines became the first larger airline to announce a complete suspension of its services for a short period of time. It came after a similar decision by the Polish government.

AirBaltic says it launched an ‘action group’ in late-February, to evaluate the current situation and take necessary action during this crisis.

The Latvian carrier operates a fleet consisting mostly of Airbus A220, along with De Havilland DHC-8 and a few older Boeing 737. It is in the process of retiring the former two aircraft types, and have an all-A220 fleet in the future. AirBaltic was the global launch customer of the A220-300, formerly called the Bombardier CS300, and has a total of 50 orders for the aircraft, along with 30 more options.

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