airBaltic: «countdown to delivery» underway for new planes

Delivery of the first of airBaltic's new fleet of Bombardier CS300 airplanes will now begin "at the end of October," the airline's chief executive, Martin Gauss, said Wednesday at a press event to introduce the planes.

Originally the planes were set to arrive by the end of summer, but Gauss said a slight delay was normal - and in fact the delay of just a couple of months would be a lot less than the industry norm in such cases.

Gauss spoke to LSM at the event, explaining what difference the planes would make both in term of operating costs and the opportunities they would open up for adding new routes to airBaltic's destination list and describing the next few weeks as a "countdown to delivery". 

airBaltic's Martin Gauss on CS300 planes

When the new planes do arrive, airBaltic will be the first airline in the world to fly the CS300 model, and its versions will carry 145 passengers.

On-board WiFi will not be provided on the first examples, Gauss said, claiming that airBaltic would wait until an upgraded system to provide a fast internet connection to those on board would be made available.

The smaller Bombardier CS100 has already been delivered to Swissair and entered service, but the CS300 still needs to pass regulatory testing for introduction to Europe and the US markets.

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