Air Baltic, a low-cost carrier serving Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and Central Asia has ordered $2.9-billion worth of new aircraft from Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, comprising 30 narrow-body CS300 jets. The agreement includes options for up 30 more aircraft of the same type, which would increase the value of the booking to $5.9 billion.
The order also means new business for Pratt & Whitney, which will provide its GTF geared-turbofan engines to power the twin-engine CS300s. At the book value for the GTF engines, Pratt & Whitney’s contract value can be projected at $720 million, or $1.4 billion if all the options are reached.
The Bombardier C Series jets are medium-range aircraft designed by Bombardier Aerospace and now produced by a joint venture of Bombardier and Airbus SA. The CS300 is the larger of two C Series variants, debuting commercially in 2016.
Air Baltic was the CS300 launch customer and with the new order it will become the largest C Series operator in Europe, with 50 of the aircraft in service. “We are now commencing the implementation of our next business strategy – Destination 2025,” offered CEO Martin Gauss, “which foresees Air Baltic expanding the map of its operations. A critical part of this new strategy is the introduction of a larger and exclusive fleet of all-CS300 aircraft, which are the most suitable aircraft for the markets in which we operate.”
While it is presently concentrated at its hub in Riga, Latvia, the new business plan calls for expanding its routes from the other Baltic countries, Estonia and Lithuania, too.
Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Fred Cromer stated that “the C Series aircraft is at the forefront of the small single-aisle market, and Air Baltic played a key role in demonstrating its value.”