airBaltic (BT, Riga) plans to build a new hangar at Riga to maintain its fleet of twenty-five A220-300s, the airline announced.

Construction of the hangar is to start in 2022 and finish by the end of 2023, following a building rights agreement with Riga Airport signed in 2020.

According to initial plans, the portion of land earmarked for construction is 2.85 hectares. The hangar will span over 34,500 square metres. It will be able to provide simultaneous line- and base maintenance for seven A220-300s, and its services will be offered to other A220-300 operators. The project will be financed through commercial banks, according to a statement by the airline.

Owned 96.14% by the Latvian state with 3.86% by Lars Thuesen through his wholly-owned Aircraft Leasing 1 SIA, airBaltic was the launch customer of the A220-300. It owns eight of the aircraft, while seventeen are on lease, from amongst others, Avation,FPG Amentum, Chorus Aviation Capital, and CMB Financial Leasing.

In 2019, it was certified to provide full-scale EASA Part-145 line maintenance and base maintenance for A220-300s, making it the first airline with the base maintenance capability and the second maintenance organisation in the world entitled to provide a full scope of base maintenance on A220 fleet.

“The new hangar has been in our plans for years, as part of our future expansion," explained Chief Executive Officer Martin Gauss. "By the time the new hangar will be complete, we will be on our growth path again, ensuring the crucial connectivity between the Baltics and the rest of the world with almost twice as many A220-300s as we have today. Since 2019, we have been performing all of the maintenance on the aircraft ourselves, and our development with a bigger fleet will require an aircraft hangar of a suitable size. As the A220 customer base is growing, we will also be offering heavy maintenance to customers worldwide. It will be one of the largest and most modern aircraft hangars in the region.”

Riga Airport Chairperson Laila Odiņa said construction of the new hangar would consolidate the airport's positions as airBaltic’s main base. It would also increase the range of aviation and non-aviation-related services provided by the airport, and strengthen its role in the Baltic Sea region.