airBaltic (BT, Riga) could potentially use the newly-announced A321-200neo(XLR) to launch long-haul flights from Riga in the future, although these plans are long-term, CEO Martin Gauss told Air Transport World.

"[The A321neo(XLR)] puts our main Riga hub in a different place, because this aircraft can go from Riga or the other Baltic capitals to cities in the US. For us, it’s an interesting development because - in a couple of years’ time when we have done our development - that might be the right thing to come," he said.

Gauss stressed, however, that in the short- and medium-term the airline was firmly focused on transitioning to an all-A220-300 fleet and further expanding Riga's role as a connecting hub for passengers within Europe and its vicinity.

Currently, there are no direct long-haul flights from any of the three Baltic capitals. In 2017, Uzbekistan Airways (HY, Tashkent Islam Karimov) ended its Tashkent Islam Karimov-Riga-New York JFK service and replaced it with separate direct routes from Tashkent to Riga and New York.

Gauss said previously that airBaltic would be interested in establishing a partnership with an airline with a long-haul network and feed its hub.