Jan 20, 2023 (newstodate): Several airBaltic Airbus A220-300 aircraft are stuck on ground due to engine problems; part of the fleet is operating on wet-lease contracts with other airlines - and yet airBaltic will need leasing in extra capacity in summer 2023. How does that fit?
-Regarding long-term wet lease-out cooperation, it is still a part of our business plan, and it is a very profitable business. Moreover, airBaltic is proud on cooperation with Swiss, as there might be a room to develop it to even a greater level in the future, says airBaltic's communications unit in response to newstodate's inquiry.
-On the other hand, airBaltic keeps growing. This summer, we will be flying around 35 percent more than in 2022. While the demand is permanent and increasing and while there still are supply chain issues, we will need an external short-term support to cope with the demand.
-An alternative would be to cancel flights, but, of course, we do not want to choose this path, letting down our passengers and their plans. We expect that this year the wet lease-in could reach six to eight external aircraft for the peak of summer.
-From the business perspective, this combination of wet lease-out/-in is the most advantageous option under the prevailing circumstances, the response reads.
In August 2022, airBaltic landed a wet-lease agreement with Swiss covering the winter 2022/23 schedule. Under the agreement, airBaltic has been allocating six Airbus A220-300 aircraft with airBaltic cockpit and cabin crews for flights on behalf of Swiss on the airline's European route network - and this agreement has now been extended to comprise this year's summer schedule also.
In summer 2022, the Lufthansa Group airline Eurowings has also been wet-leasing of five airBaltic Airbus A220-300 aircraft till the end of November 2022, deploying the aircraft to serving 19 scheduled routes from Dusseldorf, including flights to Copenhagen and Gothenburg, as well as utilizing the capacity on other routes as well on an ad-hoc basis.
In the same period, airBaltic was operating one Airbus A319 and one Fokker 100 from the Romanian airline Carpatair, as well as one Boeing 737-800 from the Ukrainian carrier SkyUp, one Boeing 737-900 from Ukraine International Airlines, one Boeing 737-800 from the Czech carrier SmartWings, and one Embraer E190 from a yet-unnamed airline.