airBaltic was named Regional Airline of the year by CAPA, a specialist aviation industry subscription news service.
The award is given to the regional airline that in CAPA's view "has been the biggest standout strategically, has established itself as a leader, and demonstrated innovation in the regional aviation sector" among smaller airlines with fewer than 10 million annual passengers that either do not operate any long haul services, or only operate limited long haul services.
"In 2016 airBaltic completed a multi-year restructuring, increased passenger numbers for the first time in five years, secured a capital increase and a private investor, became the launch customer for the Bombardier CS300, and returned to positive EBIT. It is the biggest airline operating out of the Baltic region, with hubs at Tallinn and Vilnius, in addition to its main hub at Riga," said the citation.
airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss collected the award in person at a ceremony in London October 12, saying: “It is such an honor that airBaltic has been recognized as the CAPA Regional Airline of the Year. We have had an exciting year – our fleet is being modernized, we have added 13 new destinations, our team is growing and more passengers are traveling with us. The great success and this award is a result of the work that our team does every day.”
In another piece of positive news for the company, all the CS300 jets withdrawn from service while safety checks on engines were carried out had returned to service on October 13, airBaltic confirmed to LSM.