Author: Alise Briede
The Latvian airline airBaltic in October celebrates its 25th anniversary since the launch of commercial operations. airBaltic offers to get acquainted with 25 interesting facts about the airline over the years.
1. On October 1, 1995 airBaltic operated the first commercial flight from Riga to Stockholm with the aircraft SAAB 340, which had just 33 seats.
2. Back when airBaltic had only four aircraft in its disposal, they were named after the four historical regions of Latvia – Zemgale, Latgale, Vidzeme and Kurzeme.
3. In 1997 airBaltic opened the Cargo Department. Also, today airBaltic Cargo is a part of Latvian airline airBaltic, and in 2019 it carried a record amount of cargo and mail – 14.8 thousand tonnes or 21% more than the year before.
4. First Baltic Outlook inflight magazine was published already back in 1999.
5. For several years, airBaltic’s fleet consisted of three Avro RJ70 and three Fokker 50 aircraft.
6. airBaltic sold its first on-line ticket in 2003. The average number of tickets booked on-line in 2003 was 20 per day.
7. In 2004 airBaltic introduced a new corporate livery which consisted of an all-white fuselage and lime-green tailfin with the name Baltic on it.
8. In 2007, airBaltic was the first airline in Baltics which launched online check-in system.
9. airBaltic was the world’s first airline to sell cars on board.
10. In 2014 airBaltic operated a special flight from Riga to the Winter Olympics in Sochi with Latvian and Lithuanian athletes on board. The teams departed on a Boeing 737-500 specially painted with Olympic livery.
11. airBaltic was the first airline to welcome the world’s first Airbus A220-300 (then Bombardier CS300) in Riga and launch commercial flights with it.
12. The first group of students at airBaltic Pilot Academy started their studies in 2018 and so far there are 60 active students in this programme and 12 graduates.
13. The Dalai Lama, Pope Francis and many world leaders have flown with airBaltic, as well as penguins and even a Leonardo da Vinci self-portrait.
14. airBaltic presented a gift to Latvia on its centenary – a special livery for Airbus A220-300 aircraft. On November 18, the plane took part in the parade in honour of Latvia’s centenary.
15. By honouring the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way, airBaltic presented a special gift in addition to the painted aircraft dedicated to the centenary of Latvia – all three aircraft painted in national liveries of the Baltic States and a song dedicated to the event.
16. airBaltic is the first airline to obtain full-scope maintenance capability for Airbus 220-300.
17. airBaltic carried more than five million passengers in 2019, or 22% more than the year before. This is the highest number of passengers carried in a single year in the airline’s history.
18. Since 2020, airBaltic operates single type aircraft fleet of 23 Airbus 220-300 aircraft which ensure a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions, 50% less NOx emissions, and a four times smaller noise footprint.
19. In spring, airBaltic performed special cargo flights to and from Ürümqi Diwopu International Airport in China to bring face masks and respirators to Latvia.
20. airBaltic is the first European airline in 2020 to hand every customer on every flight an envelope containing a face mask and two disinfectant wipes.
21. airBaltic has been named the best employer in the transport and logistics sector in Latvia for nine years in a row.
22. During the past 25 years, airBaltic has transported over 45 million passengers.
23. airBaltic has been recognized as one of the most punctual airlines in Europe for several years in a row.
There are more than a dozen employees that are working at airBaltic since the establishment
24. of the airline.
25. Currently at airBaltic are working 1 150 professionals from 30 different countries.
Learn more about airBaltic over the last 25 years here: https://25years.airbaltic.com
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