AirBaltic signs LOI for 10 CSeries
Published: July 11, 2012
Latvian carrier AirBaltic (BT) has signed a letter of intent (LOI) covering 10 CSeries CS300s, which will be used to renew its jet fleet.
Speaking at the Farnborough Airshow, BT CEO Martin Gauss said Airbus and Boeing were also in the running, but just days ago the company decided to go with Bombardier.
“We did an evaluation of these three manufacturers and clearly this aircraft is the most efficient aircraft for AirBaltic. It is the aircraft, economy-wise, which offered the biggest saving,” Gauss said. “Unfortunately we can’t have it right now, but we look forward to receiving our first aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2015.”
Gauss will now start discussions toward the final order. “I don’t know how long it will take, but I will try to speed it along,” he said.
If the order is firmed, the first of the 10 aircraft will arrive in the fourth quarter of 2015 and deliveries will run until 2017. The order is valued at $ 764 million at list prices and could increase to $ 1.57 billion if purchase rights on a further 10 aircraft are converted.
The CS300s will be primarily used to replace BT’s older jets, including the 737s, but Gauss added that 10 aircraft, plus 10 options, will give the carrier some “room for the future.”
He also said switching the options to the CS100 “was a consideration,” as the smaller variant could ultimately be used to bridge the gap between BT’s Bombardier Q400s and the CS300s.
BT operates a 34-aircraft fleet, comprising two Boeing 757-200s, eight 737-300s, six 737-500s, 10 Fokker 50s and eight Bombardier Q400s.