FARNBOROUGH 2016: airBaltic to support its CS300s with Bombardier Smart Parts programme

airBaltic has signed up to Bombardier’s Smart Parts programme to provide component support for its fleet of 20 all-new CS300 aircraft, delivery of which will begin in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The five-year agreement makes airBaltic the second Smart Parts customer for the C Series. As a member of the programme, the airline will receive comprehensive component maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, access to a strategically located spare part exchange pool, and an on-site inventory based at the carrier’s main hub in Riga.

The deal was signed at the show by Martin Sedlacky, chief operations officer, airBaltic and Todd Young, vice-president and general manager, customer services, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

Earlier, C Series aircraft programme vice-president, Rob Dewar, noted that it “must be a record in the industry to certify the second family member in about a six-month timeframe”, which is how long it took to achieve the CS300’s Transport Canada certification after the CS100’s.

Dewar also noted that Bombardier had once again exceeded the originally specified range of the aircraft. For airBaltic, the aircraft will have a 2,469 nm range out of Riga. “Martin Gauss [airBaltic’s CEO] had asked for the aircraft to reach Abu Dhabi – and we’ve done it,” he reported. “Now we’re well on the way with production ramp-up.”

Gauss himself said he had noted the reaction when Swiss took its CS100. “I can only imagine what emotions there will be when we receive ours,” he commented.

“The CS300 will enable to us reach more destinations. We will be using them out of Tallinn and Vilnius as well as Riga,” Gauss explained. The airline will receive six aircraft by the end of 2016, then will add two in 2017, six in 2018 and the final six in 2019. “We will then have an all-Bombardier fleet and one of the youngest by time of the last CS300 arriving.”

Asked about changes to the passenger experience with the new aircraft, Gauss replied, “Everything will change. There will be bigger everything – seats, bins, lavatories – and there will also be in-flight entertainment and eventually in-flight connectivity. It really will be, as Bombardier claimed, a game changer, especially for us.”

airBaltic’s CS300 will have 145 seats with 30-inch pitch throughout, although there will be a curtain divider for business class. Rather than the ordinary leather used by Swiss, airBaltic’s seats will have eLeather for weight reduction, according to Sedlacky.

Photo shows (l-r): Todd Young, vice-president and general manager, customer services, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft; Rob Dewar, vice-president, C Series aircraft programme, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft; Martin Gauss, CEO airBaltic; and Martin Sedlacky, COO, airBaltic.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/laranews.net
Farnborough, UK

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