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Air Baltic planning in-house base maintenance of A220s

Air Baltic is considering extension of its in-house maintenance capabilities so that it can conduct base checks on its Airbus A220 fleet later this year.

At its Riga base, the Latvian carrier conducts line maintenance and A-checks on its entire fleet, which also includes Boeing 737 Classics and Bombardier Q400 turboprops.

C-checks are currently being provided by external suppliers, but Air Baltic tells FlightGlobal: "Currently, we plan to do [A220 C-checks] ourselves."

The first C-check on an Air Baltic A220 is set to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2019, the carrier adds.

In late 2016, Air Baltic became the launch operator of the A220-300 – then the CS300 – and the second airline to add an aircraft of the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G-powered CSeries type to its fleet, after Swiss had earlier that year taken a first CS100 (A220-100).

Flight Fleets Analyzer shows that Air Baltic has 14 A220-300s, 12 Q400s and eight 737-300/500s.

The carrier says that the A220 has "performed beyond [the] company's expectations" and achieved "very high utilisation rates" of up to 18 block hours per day.

Meanwhile, Swiss says it has been "very satisfied" with the first C-check on its A220 fleet, conducted by Dutch maintenance provider Samco. This, the carrier notes, was the type's first regular base maintenance event.

Having completed the C-check on Swiss's first A220-100 (HB-JBA), Samco is to have serviced another four A220s for the carrier by the end of this month. A further eight A220s are scheduled to undergo C-checks at Samco facilities in November and December, it adds.

Fleets Analyzer shows that Swiss has 20 A220-300s and eight -100s.

Swiss says that it arranged the base maintenance checks directly with Samco, rather than via an aftermarket support agreement with Airbus.

Bombardier recruited Samco as the CSeries type's first authourised service centre in 2016, before control of the programme was transferred to the Airbus in July 2018. Maastricht-based Samco is still the sole European maintenance provider certificated for A220 base checks, Swiss says.

Samco declined to comment.

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