Latvian airline airBaltic has achieved a 15% improvement in aircraft utilisation for the 2013 summer season compared with a year before.
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “Better aircraft utilisation means less time on the ground and thus lower unit costs that we can bring back to you as our client by offering affordable tickets. It also ensures better service due to extra aircraft availability. This spring we launched six new routes to warm-weather regions, introduced additional flights on a dozen routes linking Riga with such destinations as Paris, Barcelona, Nice, Stockholm, Rome, London and Bari, and improved departure hours to suit your business or leisure trips. This makes your travel more convenient, reduces waiting at your connecting airport and gives you more time to enjoy your holiday.”
The 15% improvement in aircraft utilisation was achieved through structural changes in the network by moving ‘trunk routes’ from midday departures to alternating morning/afternoon departures and introducing “split schedules”. In essence it means that, for example, weekend travellers, who previously arrived Saturday midday in Milan, Paris, or Rome and were forced to leave 24 hours later at midday, now enjoy an early morning arrival, and late afternoon departure on Sunday, and stay in the destination for a longer period. Similar patterns are flown during weekdays, allowing additional flexibility in planning for the travellers, and enabling denser schedules for the carrier, and thus higher aircraft utilisation.
This additional aircraft capacity gained through the network restructuring has allowed airBaltic to launch additional frequencies to destinations such as Stockholm, Paris, London, Munich, and introduce six new destinations - Prague (Czech Republic), Heviz-Balaton (Hungary), Olbia (Sardinia, Italy), Rijeka (Croatia), Larnaca (Cyprus), and Malta. The network changes have also enabled airBaltic to optimise its transfer time at its Riga base from approximately two hours to one hour thus making travel more convenient for the passenger.