2008 - 2009

2008

RIGA International Airport continues its rapid growth already for the fourth year despite the crisis in the aviation. More than 3 160 000 passengers use the airport in 2007, which is 26,7% more than in 2006. The average increase of the number of passengers in 2008 is 18,5%.

From March 30 the border control between the Schengen countries and nine new Schengen members, Latvia one of them, is cancelled. RIGA International Airport opens the last border separating Latvia from other 24 member countries of Schengen Agreement.

The research by IATA (International Air Transport Association) forecasts that the turnover of passengers in the RIGA International Airport can achieve 20 millions annually by 2032. Under favourable conditions the number of passengers attended in the international airport “Riga” can achieve 19,68 million a year, while the realistic forecast anticipates 13,95 million passengers annually.

In September, the passengers can start checking-in for the flights using the self-check-in kiosk. In the same month Riga hosts a conference on development of European airports (The European Airport Development Conference 2008 (EAD08). The conference is organized by the aviation magazine “International Airport Review” in cooperation with the RIGA International Airport.

In October, the airport completes the reconstruction works of the runway and illumination system having lengthened it by 650 meters and reaching the length of 3200 meters. The new runway allows attending of any type of airplanes that is a precondition for commencement of intercontinental flights.

The number of airlines grows to 21 offering 61 direct destinations.

2009

According to the data of ACI Europe (Airport Council International), in January 2009 RIGA international Airport welcomed 10.3 percent more passengers year on year.  At the same time, total passenger traffic in the European airports fell by 10.7 percent compared with January 2008.

In March the Airport Enquiry Service 1187 commenced operations providing the customers with the opportunity to find out about lost baggage, flight schedules and other issues related to airport services on the Airport Enquiry Service telephone No  1187.

RIGA International Airport in March introduced a new privilege programme RIX Club enabling the economy class passengers toenjoy the business class advantages saving time and money.  

In May RIGA International Airport won the prestigious Routes and OAG (Official Airline Guide) Airport Marketing Award. Thus Riga is recognised as the best airport in Scandinavia and the Baltic leaving behind  the airports of Copenhagen and Stockholm.

At the annual General Assembly of ACI Europe the delegates elected Krišjānis Peters, Chairman of the Board of RIGA International Airport, to the Board of ACI Europe, whereas in the week of 24 – 30 August RIGA International Airport for the first time entered the list of top 100 world’s busiest airports of the aviation industry market research and analysis publication OAG Aviation Solutions as the 98th busiest airport with   66 427 available seats on international departing flights.

On 4 August for the first time in the history of RIGA International Airport a charter flight of Japan Airlines aircraft Boeing 747 brought to Latvia tourists, senior executives of Japan tourism industry and state officials. The second charter flight arrived in Riga on 11 August.

RIX is a child-friendly airport and in September 2009 the second junior lounge was opened for the little passengers.

Such assets of RIGA International Airport as its geographical position, tariff policy and top quality service have over the recent years contributed to rapid growth of business aviation. In view of this, many clients choose Riga as a base for their aircraft. In 2009 more than 30 business class aircrafts were based at RIGA International Airport.

RIGA International Airport in 2009 saw a steady growth in the segment of passengers choosing RIX as a convenient transfer airport.  In comparison with the year 2008 the number of such passengers almost trebled reaching 1.3 million or 34 percent of the total passenger traffic.

On 21 December 2009 the number of passengers at RIGA International Airport reached the record figure of four million.

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