AIR BALTIC – FLYING THE AIRBUS A220 THROUGH EUROPE

AIR BALTIC – FLYING THE AIRBUS A220 THROUGH EUROPE

27 January 2020 Off By Florian Polycarpe

Air Baltic is a Latvian airline operating 38 aircraft with 22 Airbus A220-300, 12 Bombardier Q-400 and four Boeing 737-300. The airline operates from Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius to more than 70 destinations. Initially, Air Baltic was flying through Europe; however, the airline recently decided to expand its network with “long-haul” routes such as Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates since 2017, operated by the Airbus A220-300 which we will present you today. 

Initially presented as the Bombardier CSeries, Airbus joined the program to up to 50% to renew its single-aisle catalog. The Airbus A220 can offer a capacity of 120 to 160 seats, similar to the Airbus A318/A319 and Boeing 737-700(MAX) which today suffers from flying restrictions following accidents due to MCAS default.

During the Paris Air Show 2019, Airbus and Air Baltic invited us to discover the Latvian flagship. So now, take your seat back, relax and enjoy your reading.



FIRST IMPRESSIONS 

The first impression while discovering the aircraft is quite simple, you can observe a sober livery for a beautiful regional aircraft which honored Air Baltic for 3 years now. The airline is operating the A223 for regional flights but also long-haul operations such as Baku, Almaty or Abu Dhabi, the longest commercial duty operated by an Airbus A220. 

The fuel efficiency of the Airbus A220, with 22% of economy to its direct competitors, is one of the main assets of this aircraft. 

CABIN REVIEW

Air Baltic’s Airbus A220-300 is offering 145 seats, with 3 seats in Business Class and 142 in Economy configured in 2-3 front seat ranges. 

The large windows – with 50% of size increase to A318/A319 – offer a very luminous cabin in addition to the grey and beige seats. These colours are delightful and comfortable, adding a little extra to the mood light which changes depending on the hour, destinations and several other indicators to minimize your tiredness. 

Moreover, the Airbus A220 is offering a cabin altitude of 7.000 feet, a high comfort service as an in-flight WiFi and a noise level reduced at its best with the quietest aircraft of its category. All the foregoing increase the cabin comfort. 

The Business class is set up as the usual European regional services of the airline. The middle seat is neutralised on the 3 seats ranges and passengers benefit an upscale service offer such as international press and premium meal service. 

Likewise, the Business Class service offers all primary commodities such as Priority Boarding, Lounge access, welcome drink, extra bags, unlimited beverages and quick aircraft leaving when landed since you are seating in the front range.

At a time where all airlines are doing their best to get the most economical class service, the Latvian airline is offering a 13-inch pitch, providing a vast space even for a 1,85m person. Moreover, the 2-3 front seat configuration is supporting a high comfort service for cabin crew, with large central aisle where a trolley and a person can walk through without any discomfort.   

At the back of the cabin, Air Baltic is supplied with ample spaces for lavatories. So is the galley with large and ergonomic trolley’s storages. 

In the cockpit, the Airbus A220 resembles the Boeing 787’s design with the Airbus flying philosophy as shown by the sidestick and a full glass cockpit. For instance, the two added screens permit to get numeric check-lists or update the flight status with chosen AIRACS. 

Air Baltic’s A220 stands out for its versatility and its particularly low fuel consumption compared to other aircrafts of its category, which permits to offer a good service both on regional and long-haul services. The high comfort provided for passengers and cabin crew is also a major asset of the A220 thanks to the large windows and seats, and a spacious central aisle. 

We would like to thank Airbus and Air Baltic for allowing us to let you discover this A220-300, and once more, you, dear readers for your infallible support.

All the pictures have been taken by our talented friend: @eliothbrt