DUBAI: Air Baltic plans for CSeries-only fleet
Latvian carrier Air Baltic will aim to move to an exclusive Bombardier CSeries fleet with its intention to acquire at least another 14 of the twinjets.
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13 NOVEMBER, 2017 BY: DAVID KAMINSKI-MORROW - DUBAI FlightGlobal
Air Baltic is displaying one of its CS300s at the Dubai air show.
Chief executive Martin Gauss, speaking to FlightGlobal at the show, said that the CSeries would not only replace the Boeing 737-300s and -500s but also the Bombardier Q400s as they approached the end of their lease.
Much of the leased Q400 fleet is around seven or eight years old. The 737 fleet is mainly owned and Gauss says the carrier has the "flexibility" to sell them.
Gauss says the Q400 is unsuitable for longer routes on which the carrier uses the turboprop, such as those to Brussels, Vienna and Prague.
"They should go to jet," he says. He particularly notes that longer flights can generate queues for the forward washroom, which is not ideal for passengers in the business cabin.
"[The Q400] is a good aircraft for what it's supposed to be but it can't cope with something like this," he says.
Routes of over 6h for the CSeries are "no problem", he states. The interior can be modified, if necessary, with an additional lavatory module instead of two aft seats.