Switzerland to wet lease six Airbus A220s to airBaltic in winter 2022
Swiss has agreed to wet-lease six Airbus A220s from airBaltic for the winter of 2022, which it says will bring more stability to flight schedules and reduce pressure on cabin crew.
“airBaltic is an ideal wet charter partner for us,” said Tamur Goudarzi Pour, Commercial Director of SWISS. “Like us, they operate the highly advanced, innovative and environmentally friendly Airbus A220-300. And they have already flown for other Lufthansa Group airlines this summer with impressive reliability,” the CCO said, referring to Air Baltic’s wet lease agreement with Eurowings.
Swiss, which has 21 A220s in its fleet, said the wet lease agreement would also bring more reliability to customers. Many travelers to Europe have seen their flights canceled in the summer of 2022 due to staff shortages at airlines and airports.
While the wet lease agreement will help relieve “current pressures on our cabin crew corps”, Swiss said it is still aiming to recruit and train more cabin crew.
The news comes days after airBaltic announced that six Airbus A220s had been grounded for some time due to a lack of spare parts.
“Currently, global supply chain issues are keeping six of our aircraft grounded as we run out of spare parts for regular maintenance work,” airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss explained. Some of the planes on the ground have been out of service for six months, which he described as “very rare”.
Like other airlines, airBaltic flies fewer flights in winter, so wet-leasing aircraft from other carriers can help keep aircraft flying and generate revenue, especially with Ukrainian markets. and Russian which remain closed to the airline.
With a fleet of 36 Airbus A220-300s, airBaltic remains the world’s largest operator of this type. By 2024, the airline plans to have a total of 50 A220-300s.