AirBaltic invests continuously for the maintenance of its growing Airbus A220 fleet

Emilie Drab
le 10/02/2021 , Maintenance aéronautique
Since 2019, when its maintenance facility obtained Part-145 certification for line and base maintenance for its new Airbus A220-300 fleet, airBaltic has been developing this activity. The low-cost carrier has announced that it has completed heavy maintenance (C-Check) of its first seven A220s and continues to invest in its capacities with the plan to open a new MRO hangar by 2024.

AirBaltic currently has twenty-five aircraft in its fleet, the majority of which are in service. Among these aircraft, seven have already undergone their first C-Check inspection, which should take place after 8,500 flight hours on the A220. AirBaltic took the opportunity to implement improvements and specifies that around forty technicians work on each aircraft during this type of scheduled maintenance - the airline currently employs 120. Four other A220s will soon pass in their turn to C-Check.

The Latvian airline recalls that it has agreed with Airbus to accelerate deliveries of its aircraft, with the objective of operating fifty A220s from the start of 2024 (and not from 2025 as initially planned). With this in mind, it is already planning to increase its MRO capacities and has signed a construction contract with Riga Airport to establish a new maintenance hangar.

It is expected to cover an area of 34,500 m² and will be able to accommodate up to seven A220s simultaneously. Construction should begin in 2022 and be completed at the end of 2023, the entry into service corresponding to the time when the fleet will have doubled and when the low-cost carrier hopes to have caught up to the growth trajectory it predicted before the crisis erupted. This new hangar will allow it to maintain its own aircraft, as well as those of third-party airlines if necessary.

At the same time, it is developing its training capabilities and has just had its new training organization for maintenance technicians certified. It offers two types of training, basic training for future aircraft mechanics without previous experience and specific training for the A220. Here again, it intends to train its future technicians but also those of third-party operators or MROs. The first promotion begins training in February and has eight students for each course.

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