SmartLynx Airlines (SmartLynx), the second largest Latvia-based airline, providing charter flights and ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) services, marks 2019 as the year of strategic growth. In Q1 2019 several operational and strategic highlights were achieved to boost company's rapid growth.
The year 2018 was significant with many achievements and company’s development is continuing also this year
Since 2017 SmartLynx has increased its fleet from 15 aircraft units to 23 in 2019. By expanding company’s fleet and operations, SmartLynx increased the number of flying hours from 46,157 to 54,000 in 2018. It resulted in 20,500 flights operated and marking a 28,6% growth compared to 2017.
Furthermore, during 2018 SmartLynx serviced more than 3 million passengers, compared to 2.5 million in period before, that indicates stable increase in market share. The results of 2018 present also high performance in technical reliability indicators – 98,6%, while On Time Performance (OTP) has increased by more than 10% Latvia and Estonia where company operates charter flights for domestic Tour Operators. This year new destinations have been added to charter flights route map: Tirana (Albania), Djerba (Tunisia), Enfidha (Tunisia), Podgorica (Montenegro).
“2018 highlight a rapid growth in company’s operations, which have been boosted by a well-defined strategy in the challenging times that aviation industry is facing today. In 2018 we have continued disciplined and thoughtful action towards development of the company both in operational and financial performance,” says Zygimantas Surintas, CEO of SmartLynx.
To ensure stable growth for many years to come long-term contracts is the main focus of the company. A three-year contract with TUI Airlines Belgium is one of the fruits of SmartLynx strategy. In result, starting from summer 2019, four Smartlynx aircraft will be flying under TUI Airlines flight numbers.
“We are very happy with this long-term relationship with Smartlynx. During the last few years of cooperation, Smartlynx has proved to be a reliable partner, very cooperative in finding solutions and definitely a highly valued partner for TUI fly.” indicates Gunther Hofman, Managing Director of TUI fly Benelux.
Air Operator’s Certificate in Malta
On April 15th, SmartLynx received Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) in Malta, granted by Transport Ministry Civil Aviation Directorate (TMCAD). This certificate brings competitive advantage for strategic expansion of the company by opening doors to new markets and clients. In addition, SmartLynx gained EASA Part M CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Approval Organization) approval from the Maltese authority.
New office building in Riga and increased number of employees
In March this year, SmartLynx officially opened its new office space in Mazrudas, Marupe municipality, Latvia. The expanded complex of facilities consists of 1100m2 of modern and collaborative work environment spread over 3 floors. Combined with the existing office, employees based at Riga headquarters have more than 2500m2 of working area, activity space, coffee corners and open rooftop terrace, at their disposal. Architecturally designed to support company’s growth and expansion, featuring open-space offices and modern technologies.
Currently SmartLynx is represented in three countries - headquarters in Latvia and offices in Estonia and Malta. 184 professionals representing 14 different nationalities, are employed by the company in administration.
“In 2019 we are continuing with the current pace of development and strategic direction of the company. The first results are already visible. Since March SmartLynx has become the first aviation company in the Baltic States to have successfully integrated eTechLog8 (Conduce) and OASES (Commsoft) systems to work as one automised entity. The project allows us to increase airplane control and passenger safety – the fundamentals of our business,” indicates Z. Surintas.
Smartlynx is also committed to continuing its fleet expansion in 2019 to meet current de- mand in existing and emerging markets. Today company is operating with 23 aircraft units consisting of 16 Airbus A320 and 7 Airbus A321, from which currently 3 aircraft are oper- ating charter flights with one additional unit as a stand-by aircraft in the Baltics. While in- creasing the fleet and the cabin standards in it, company is successfully maintaining a low-cost structure strategy enabling SmartLynx Airlines to achieve significant competitive advantage in the market and firm its position as the first choice ACMI provider.