airBaltic pulls its new Bombardier CS 300 jet liners from service

Latvian national airline airBaltic on October 11 confirmed it had temporarily taken its seven brand new Bombardier CS 300 airliners from its flight schedules pending technical checks, reported LTV's Panorama daily news show.

All 7 new Bombardier CS 300s have been grounded while technical inspections of take place. This was done for safety reasons following a safety alert from the aircraft's engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney.

airBaltic press secretary Alise Briede told Panorama that the decision to temporarily stop flights with the Bombardier CS 300 is due to technical reasons.

"The Bombardier CS 300 aircraft is a completely new model and requires increased monitoring during its implementation (...). As with other areas of technology, aviation is also characterized by new technical features that need to be monitored and refined during their introductory period of use. The CS 300 is no exception," said Briede.

Inspections are carried out in close cooperation with both the engine manufacturer and the aircraft manufacturer, Bombardier, she added.

"As soon as it is confirmed that the airplane can fly, we will resume regular flights," said the airline representative.

Thursday morning Briede told LSM the planes were expected to return to service October 12, though this had yet to be officially confirmed.

The airBaltic fleet currently has seven Bombardier CS300 aircraft, 12 Bombardier Q400 NextGen aircraft and 11 "Boeing 737" aircraft.

Travelers are advised to check their flight times before heading to the airport. Departures from Riga can be viewed HERE.

In the afternoon, the airline issued a statement saying "Currently airBaltic has already restarted performing commercial flights with the CS300 aircraft, and it is expected that during today other aircraft will be inspected and ready for commercial flights. Aircraft that have restarted flying are in full order and completely safe for performing flights.

"As the launch customer of CS300, airBaltic is aware that during the introduction stage of the aircraft additional upgrades are yet to be expected. On a daily basis airBaltic works in close cooperation with the aircraft and engine manufacturers in order to provide their successful operation. airBaltic’s top priority is safety, and CS300 introduction strategy already envisaged additional attention as well as reserve aircraft availability in case one of the new aircraft could not perform a flight."

In more positive news from the airline, it said that in September it carried 342 645 passengers or 24% more than in the same period of 2016.

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