Mr Gauss is CEO of airBaltic. A lot of people want to speak with Mr Gauss so we had to be focused. We asked two questions in a short conversation on the sideline of the show today.
- What one word would you use to describe your view of the CSeries? His response was he would prefer two words – Exceeds Expectations. But if we insisted on one, it would be Exceed.
- Next question was regarding Mr Gauss’ comments on being in the market for more aircraft – what are the three most important selection criteria? He responded, economics, commonality and passenger comfort. He went on the discuss these in more detail. If both types under consideration were equal in economics, he’d go to commonality. If that were also equal, he’d go to passenger comfort.
Mr Gauss explained that they removed two rows of seats on the CS300 as an experiment to see how they could add legroom and it worked well. On the six hour leg from Riga to Dubai he thinks they may need to do this to give people a bit more room.
airBaltic is likely to keep disrupting markets wherever they go. The CS300 allows them to compete with Ryanair and easyJet because the CS300 is so much lighter and can sell out faster. The CS300 offers great revenue and cost benefits. We got the distinct impression he would take every CS300 he could get his hands on.
One interesting piece of insight Mr Gauss offered: Don’t worry about the P&W engine. It will be forgotten in three years. He noted nobody talks about 787s and batteries anymore. He expects the same to happen with the GTF. Besides, he noted, everybody wants their 787 today and is unconcerned about batteries.