NEW YORK - At a ceremony held at New York’s Metropolitan Club, Latvian airline airBaltic on May 2, 2019 won the highly-coveted AirFinance Journal “Operating Lease Deal of the Year 2018” award. During the ceremony, airBaltic received an award for the sale and leaseback of two Airbus A220-300 aircraft to lessor Avation plc in a Skytech-AIC - arranged and structured transaction.
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “We at airBaltic are truly proud to be recognized on a global scale. As the launch operator of the Airbus A220-300, we took a forward-looking decision on advanced technology to support our turnaround plan leading to sustainable profitability, and today airBaltic is benefiting of the most fuel-efficient regional aircraft.”
Jeff Chatfield, Avation plc Executive Chairman said: "We remain committed to expanding our fleet with new technology aircraft for a diverse range of clients and believe that the A220 will have an excellent sales and residual value outlook".
Winning against fierce worldwide competition, this was the industry’s first open market sale and leaseback of the Airbus A220-300 (formerly known as the Bombardier CS300) in a transaction combining an asset regarded at the time as non-mainstream with a relatively untested credit, a perceived ambitious price and an ambitious Euro-denominated rental target.
The AirFinance Journal Awards are the leading and most prestigious aviation finance awards. For more than 38 years the annual event has served to recognize excellence within the aviation finance industry by celebrating the best of the best. The Awards celebrate the achievement, innovation and brilliance within the aviation finance industry and feature a wide range of categories for lessors, airlines, banks, investors, OEMs and others involved in aviation finance.
The Airbus A220-300 has performed beyond the company’s expectations, delivering better overall performance, fuel efficiency and convenience for both passengers and staff. This aircraft offers an excellent flying experience with such benefits for passengers as wider seats, larger windows, more hand luggage space in the cabin, improved lavatories and much more.
The new aircraft is also considerably quieter – with a four times smaller noise footprint. Moreover, at the moment it is the greenest commercial aircraft in the world, as it is the first aircraft to have a transparent declaration of the life-cycle environmental impact, helping to reduce CO 2 and NO X emissions by 20% and 50% respectively.
airBaltic serves over 70 destinations from Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius, offering the largest variety of destinations and convenient connections via Riga to its network spanning Europe, Scandinavia, the CIS and the Middle East. In summer 2019, airBaltic has launched new destinations from Riga to Dublin, Stuttgart and Lviv, and in May will launch flights to Kos and Menorca.