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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 21.09.2019, 18:47

Riga Airport plans to service 7.5 mln passengers this year

BC, Riga, 21.08.2019.Print version
Passenger turnover at Riga International Airport could reach 7.5 mln this year, the airport's chairwoman Ilona Lice told LETA.

''With a 15.7% increase in passenger turnover last year, we were the fourth fastest growing airport in Europe in our group - which is between 5 to 10 mln passengers per year. We already have seen a 9.5% increase in passenger turnover so far this year, and thus we predict that our annual passenger turnover will be at around 7.5 mln, or even slightly more,'' she said.

Lice said that the average in increase in passenger turnover at European airports was at around four to 4.5% during the first half of the year. However, cargo turnover at European airports has fallen by about 3.5%, which can be explained by trade wars, Brexit, slower economic growth, airline mergers and strikes.

''When looking at this backdrop, we look good, and this too will be a good year for us,'' said Lice adding that the airport's financial figures in the first half of the year saw a 7% increase. ''Thus, this year will not only be good when looking at passenger numbers, but financially as well.''

Lice said that Riga has not only become a popular destination, but also an important transit hub. ''The largest transit carrier at our airport is airBaltic, and we constructed our new terminal so that it would be attractive for transit passengers. If we take into account the population of the Baltic states, then transit is our future,'' she said.

She mentioned the airport's main transit flows come from Russia to Western Europe, from the Balkans to Scandinavia, as well as between Germany and Estonia and between Finland and Lithuania. At the same time, flights from the Baltics to Barcelona, Rome, Paris and Prague are also very popular.

She pointed out that during the summertime, Riga Airport offers direct flights to 106 destinations.

''The fact that we have full-service and low-cost airlines conducting flights to and from Riga means that passengers can choose flights in accordance with their desires and financial possibilities. Plus, when looking at our competitors in the region, Riga Airport offers direct flights to many unique destinations, which can only be directly reached from Riga,'' she added.

In 2018, the airport received 7.056 mln passengers, up 15.7% against 2017, and handled 83,468 flights and 28,256 tons of cargo.

Riga International Airport is the largest air traffic hub in the Baltic states.

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