airBaltic goes all-Baltic with new Lithuanian livery
Although they speak each different languages, the three Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are usually bundled together as “the Baltics”.
And there’s an airline that is happy to play along. Not for nothing it is called “airBaltic”.
From its base in Riga, Latvia, airBaltic has been expanding its operations to cover the two adjacent Baltic capitals of Tallinn (Estonia) and Vilnius (Lithuania).
AirBaltic has now 3 aircraft permanently based in Tallinn and, from this upcoming Winter season, it will base one of its Airbus A220-300 aircraft in Vilnius, Lithuania, a growth market for the Latvian carrier (in the first half of 2019 it transported some 240,000 passengers to and from Lithuania, 20% up from the same period the previous year).
The traditional lack of a solid home-grown scheduled airline in those, admittedly small, markets makes it a rather logical move on the side of airBaltic to step in and fill the gaps.
Lithuania has seen the closure in recent years of FlyLaL, Air Lituanica and charter operator Small Planet Airlines, while Estonia has seen the bankruptcy of Air Estonia and the conversion of its successor airline, Nordica, into an ACMI operator)
A by-product of this regional expansion has been a series of A220-300 liveries inspired by the flags of the three Baltic republics.
The first, in 2018, marked 100 years of Latvian independence. In June this year we reported about the aircraft with the Estonian flag livery, that highlights airBaltic’s commitment to the Estonian market and the consolidation of Tallinn airport as its second base.
And, finally, we have got the Lithuanian-themed A220, that, again, underscores the pan-Baltic orientation of this Eastern European carrier.
Given that airBaltic has hinted at the opening of more bases for its Airbus A220 fleet, including some, potentially, in Western Europe, will we see more flag-liveried A220s?