Monday 31 December 2018

LATVIA: Air Baltic Restart Riga To Dublin Flights 31st Of March 2019

Latvian Flag Carrier Air Baltic has announced that it will restart flights from its hub in Riga to Dublin, Ireland.

The inaugural flight will be on the 31st of March 2019, operated four times a week with the airline’s Airbus A220-300. Air Baltic had previously operated flights between these two cites, however, it discounted it in 2012.

Air Baltic was the launch customer for the A220-300 Previously Bombardier CS300 in 2016. The carrier plans to have an all A220 (CS300) fleet by 2025.

Originally founded in 1995, the airline currently flies to over 70 destinations from Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius—the carrier’s three bases.

For Summer 2019 season, Air Baltic will base A220s at Tallinn and start flights to Malaga, Brussels, and Copenhagen. In addition to Dublin, the airline will also launch Stuttgart and Lviv from Riga.

The flights will run every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Flight BT661 will depart Riga at 07:30, arriving into Dublin at 08:35 local time. The return flight BT662 will depart Dublin at 09:15 local time, arriving back into Riga at 14:10.

Martin Gauss, CEO of Air Baltic, said that he is glad to offer our guests regular flights to Dublin. This route has a strong demand for years now and we are very happy that we can add Dublin to our expanding route portfolio.

Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison also commented on the route’s announcement. This new service to Riga will further enhance the connectivity between Ireland and Latvia and is good news for passengers as it will offer additional choice and convenience, he said.

airBaltic, legally incorporated as AS Air Baltic Corporation, is the flag carrier of Latvia, with its head office on the grounds of Riga International Airport in Mārupe municipality near Riga. Its hub is at Riga International Airport with further bases at Tallinn Airport and Vilnius Airport.

The airline was established as Air Baltic on 28 August 1995 with the signing of a joint venture between Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and the Latvian state.

Operations started on 1 October 1995 with the arrival of the first Air Baltic aircraft, a Saab 340, at Riga, and that afternoon, the plane made the first passenger flight for Air Baltic.

In 1996, the airline's first Avro RJ70 was delivered; and Air Baltic joined the SAS frequent flier club as a partner. 1997 saw the opening of a cargo department and, in 1998, the airline's first Fokker 50 plane was delivered.

The adopted livery was mainly white, with the name of the airline written in blue on the forward fuselage, the 'B' logo being heavily stylized in blue checks. The checker blue pattern was repeated on the aircraft tailfin.

In 1999, Air Baltic became a joint stock company; it was previously a limited liability company. All of their Saab 340s were replaced by Fokker 50s.

By September, the airline had begun operating under the European Aviation Operating Standards, or JAR ops. Air Baltic welcomed the new millennium by introducing new uniforms and opening a cargo center at Riga's airport.

The first Boeing 737–500 joined the fleet in 2003, and on 1 June 2004, Air Baltic launched services from the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, initially to five destinations. In October 2004, Air Baltic was rebranded as AirBaltic.

Their present livery consists of an all-white fuselage and lime tailfin. is displayed on the forward upper fuselage, and the word Baltic is repeated in blue on the lower part of the tailfin. In December 2006, the first Boeing 737–300 joined the fleet and was configured with winglets.

In July 2007, AirBaltic introduced an online check-in system. It was the first online check-in system in the Baltic states. In the spring of 2008, two long-haul Boeing 757s joined the existing AirBaltic fleet.

On 10 March 2008, it was announced that in the next three years the airline would acquire new aircraft, experiencing the largest fleet expansion in the company's history. The new additions will be next generation Q400 aircraft.

AirBaltic had strong links with SAS, which owned 47.2% of the airline, and operated frequent flights to SAS hubs in Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm, and the airline formerly used the SAS EuroBonus frequent flyer programme, but it now has its own frequent flyer programme called PINS.

Some of AirBaltic's products and services are still shared with SAS, including co-ordinated timetabling and shared airport lounges. AirBaltic is not a member of any airline alliance, but does have codeshare agreements in place with several Star Alliance member airlines and others.

AirBaltic had secondary hubs at Vilnius International Airport and Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport. The majority of the routes commenced from Tallinn were cancelled shortly after opening, leading to complaints from the Estonian Consumer Protection Department.

In January 2009, SAS sold its entire stake in the company 47.2% of the airline to Baltijas aviācijas sistēmas Ltd (BAS) for 14 million lats. BAS was wholly owned by Bertolt Flick - President and CEO until December 2010, when 50% of BAS shares were transferred to Taurus Asset Management Fund Limited, registered in the Bahamas.

airBaltic operates direct year-round and seasonal flights from Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, mostly to metropolitan and leisure destinations within Europe. Long-haul flights are not operated.

airBaltic has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:

- Aegean Airlines

- Aeroflot

- Air France

- Air Malta

- Air Serbia

- Alitalia

- Austrian Airlines

- Azerbaijan Airlines

- Belavia

- British Airways

- Brussels Airlines

- Czech Airlines

- Etihad Airways

- Georgian Airways

- Iberia


- LOT Polish Airlines

- TAP Air Portugal


- Ukraine International Airlines

- Uzbekistan Airways

airBaltic fleet consists of the following aircraft:

- Airbus A220-300: 14

- Boeing 737-300: 6

- Boeing 737-500: 3

- Bombardier Q400: 12

- Total: 35

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