airBaltic presents its 40th aircraft in Riga and announces cooperation with the Song and Dance Festival
In a special ceremony, Latvian airline airBaltic presented its 40th Airbus A220-300 aircraft (registration No. YL-ABN), which is already the second aircraft in the fleet painted in the colors of the Latvian national flag. A special highlight of the event was the launch of airBaltic’s cooperation with the XXVII Nationwide Latvian Song and XVII Dance Festival, as airBaltic becomes the festival’s official airline and carrier. The event was attended by around 500 people, including employees of the company and the airport, partners, friends as well as Latvian and foreign officials.
airBaltic President and CEO Martin Gauss: “This is a special day for airBaltic and the country, and we are proud that for more than 27 years already, we have had the opportunity to carry Latvia’s name in the world. Moreover – to do it with one of the most advanced aircraft, which is the core of our airline’s operations. At the same time, being aware of the high significance of the Song and Dance Festival for each Latvian and the whole nation, we are honored to be able to provide our contribution to this occasion. We will ensure that wherever our planes fly as many people as possible will learn about the festival in which airBaltic employees will be participating as singers, dancers, musicians, and volunteers.”
Airbus Canada President and CEO Benoît Schultz: “Following a successful unveiling last month, our team is proud to have delivered airBaltic's 40th A220-300. Each A220 aircraft is unique, but this one is particularly special. Not only does it honour the colours of the Latvian flag, but it also represents airBaltic's continued trust towards the A220. As the world's smallest single-aisle carbon footprint, the A220 has largely contributed to sustainably expanding the airline's network, thus contributing to its efficiency and decarbonisation targets.”
Minister of Transport of the Republic of Latvia Jānis Vitenbergs: “This is a story about our national values. The Song and Dance Festival is an event that maintains patriotism in our people and continues to enrich Latvians as a nation. The 40th aircraft of our national airline will enable our Song and Dance Festival story, the pride of our culture, to resonate even more widely in the world – both above and under the clouds.”
Minister of Culture of the Republic of Latvia Nauris Puntulis: “The Song Festival both 150 years ago and now is created in close cooperation and thinking about the result – the big event once in five years, when everyone and everyone together is important. The Festival is possible also due to the shoulder of supporters. The national airline airBaltic has the ability to inform about the celebration far beyond the borders of Latvia. And personally, I am delighted that in the 150th anniversary of this national tradition, the new aircraft is dressed in the colors of the Latvian flag. Musicians say – let it sound! Dancers – have a good dance step! But, for the new aircraft we should wish for a good journey and always a good flight!”
This summer, the Song and Dance Festival will take place from June 30 to July 9, 2023 in Riga, highlighting the 150th anniversary of the tradition. The program of the festival includes more than 60 events and concerts in many locations and venues in Riga. Preparing for the major event are around 1 700 groups of participants in Latvia and abroad, including airBaltic employees as singers, dancers, and musicians, representing nearly 50 groups of participants. To learn more about the festival, please visit https://www.dziesmusvetki.lv.
YL-ABN is the first A220-300 aircraft delivered to airBaltic in 2023. This year, it is expected to receive seven more new aircraft, but the airline has ordered 50 aircraft of this type in total. Since May 2020, airBaltic has only been using A220-300 aircraft. This decision simplifies fleet maintenance as well as brings additional benefits to the efficiency of the aircraft.
Thus far, airBaltic has carried nearly 11 260 000 passengers on the Airbus A220-300 aircraft. Airbus A220-300s of the airline have completed more than 130 000 flights and flown over 280 000 block hours
airBaltic provides flights to more than 70 destinations from Riga, Tallinn, Vilnius and Tampere, offering connections to a wide range of destinations in the airline's route network in Europe, Scandinavia, the CIS and the Middle East. A complete schedule of airBaltic flights and tickets are available on the company's homepage at www.airbaltic.com.
airBaltic in brief:
airBaltic (Air Baltic Corporation AS) connects the Baltic region with over 70 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and the CIS. Over the last 27 years airBaltic has developed as a strong, profitable and internationally respected airline, which employs around 2 300 employees. airBaltic is by far the best known international brand of Latvia and responsible for more than 2.5% of the Latvian GDP. airBaltic operates 40 Airbus A220-300 aircraft. airBaltic has received numerous international awards for excellence and innovative services. Skytrax has awarded Latvian airline airBaltic a five–star COVID-19 safety rating. In addition, airBaltic is one of the Top twenty airlines for COVID-19 compliance by the safety, product, and COVID-19 rating agency Airlineratings.com. In 2018 and 2019 airBaltic received the ATW Airline Industry Achievement Award as the Market Leader of the Year. In addition, in 2019 airBaltic received Sector Leadership Award by Airline Business. airBaltic is a joint stock company that was established in 1995. Its primary shareholder is the Latvian state, which holds 97.97% of the stock, while the rest of the shareholders hold 2.03%.