DALLAS – Nordic flag carrier airBaltic (BT) has launched its first summer 2024 route schedule before even the end of the current period. Based in the tri-state neighboring Russia, the airline will offer 11 new services from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to Southern Europe, the most demanded region for leisure travelers from Nordic territories.
Commencing May 2, 2024, airBaltic will start flying again from its largest hub in Riga (RIX) to Tirana (TIA), Sofia (SOF), Ljubliana (LJU), Skopje (SKP), Chisinau (KIV) and Pristina (PRN).
BT, therefore, is widely betting this time for the Balkan region, which added to previous destinations such as Dubrovnik (DBV), Thessaloniki (SKG), or Corfu (CFU), ramps up its network to a total of 20 routes from the Baltic states to the Balkans.
The airline’s CEO, Martin Gauss, said, “This time, we have identified an opportunity to widen our network in Central and Southeastern Europe with connections to Baltic and Nordic countries…We are glad to expand the airBaltic offering next summer with convenient direct flights to this region and also increase flight frequencies on our existing leisure and business routes.”
More Frequencies to Current Destinations
In the upcoming summer season, airBaltic will not only add 11 new routes from Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania to Southern Europe, but it has also seen the opportunity to increase frequencies on current routes offered by the carrier.
Flights from Riga (RIX) to Alicante (ALC) will be maintained this time with a two-weekly service, and routes to Rome (FCO), Tel Aviv (TLV), and Prague (PRG) will experience a capacity increase, as well.
To deal with the continuous rise in demand, airBaltic operates a fleet of 42 Airbus A220-300 aircraft, which are complimented with three A320 airframes leased from Avion Express. The airline also expects the future delivery of two additional A220 airframes in the coming months: MSNs 55238 and 55240.
AirBaltic, Becoming Less Baltic
In June 2023, the flag carrier of the three Baltic states announced the opening of a new seasonal base on the island of Gran Canaria (LPA), in the Spanish archipelago neighboring West Africa, with the implementation of two fixed aircraft at the Canarian airport.
The two airframes will not only serve regular flights to the four hubs of airBaltic in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland (Tampere), but it will also enter into competition for the first time with Scandinavian operators on flights to Bergen (BGO), Billund (BLL), Copenhagen (CPH), Aalborg (AAL) and the two Oslo Airports; Sandefjord (TRF) and Gardermoen (OSL).
By doing this, the airline will fly in the same market currently dominated by Scandinavian Airlines (SK), Norwegian (DY), and Vueling (VY). Of all these airlines, airBaltic will be the only one including carry-on baggage in the lowest fare, as SK has also decided to exclude this item from the essentials, following the movement of Finnair (AY).
Featured image: Tony Bordelais/Airways.