airBaltic (BT, Riga) Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Martin Gauss has reiterated his airline's plans to base its future fleet around the Bombardier Aerospace (BBA, Montréal Trudeau) C-Series despite recent reports linking it to a possible order with Sukhoi Civil Aircraft (Zhukovsky).

“Bombardier's C-Series will be the backbone of our jet fleet beyond 2016," he said during a AC!CS1 static display event in Riga last week. "Bombardier’s AC!CS3 airliners are integral to the execution of Air Baltic’s business development strategy Horizon 2021 and fleet optimization plan. As the airline increases its network potential, we will do so by replacing older jet aircraft.”

Gauss also labelled as speculative reports in the Latvian press that an order for five SSJ 100/95s had been placed as part of German investor Ralf Dieter Montag-Girmes' EUR52 million (USD57.2 million) acquisition of a 20% stake in Air Baltic.

Though he has links to Russian business, Montag-Girmes himself told local media during an introductory press conference earlier this month: "My investment is completely separate from the choice of regional jet. There is no obligation to buy any particular type of aircraft."

Montag-Girmes' investment is critical in securing funding for the airline's order of thirteen AC!CS3s (with seven options) from Bombardier. The type's launch operator, Air Baltic expects to take delivery of its first CS300 during the second half of next year.