AirBaltic Targets New Riga MRO Hangar For 2023, Eyes A220 Services

AirBaltic has been building up its in-house maintenance capability for the A220.

Latvian airline airBaltic will begin constructing a new maintenance hangar at Riga Airport next year and is eyeing Airbus A220-300 heavy maintenance services for other carriers.

AirBaltic says after entering into a building rights agreement with the airport last year, it is planning on opening the new hangar by 2023 with the project financed through banks.

According to initial plans, the new maintenance hangar will have a volume of around 372,000 ft.2 and will have space for line and base maintenance services on seven A220-300 aircraft simultaneously. 

“The new hangar has been in our plans for years, as part of our future expansion,” says Martin Guss, the carrier’s CEO. “By the time the new hangar will be complete, we will be on our growth path again ensuring the crucial connectivity between the Baltics and the rest of world with almost twice as many Airbus A220-300 aircraft as we have today.” 

The airline has a fleet of 25 A220-300 aircraft, formerly the Bombardier CSeries, and is set to double this to 50 of the type by 2025. It has also bolstered its in-house maintenance capability during the past two years. In September 2019, it received EASA Part 145 certification to conduct line maintenance and base maintenance for the aircraft type.

Two months later in November, it completed its first C check on the aircraft, a task which typically takes approximately 21 days with a team of 40 people. It says it will now explore the possibility of introducing third-party services for the A220, as it identifies a growing customer base. 

Aviation Week’s Fleet & MRO Forecast projects a growing market for over the next 10 years for the aircraft. By 2030, estimates show a global MRO spend of $3.7 billion for the A220, with line maintenance expected to account for the largest share of that at 44% of total spend.

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.