The operational performance data show that Riga International Airport has finished the first month of 2018 with a passenger increase of one fifth, while the cargo volumes have grown by almost 90% as compared to January last year.
In January 2018, Riga Airport handled 443 524 passengers, which is 20% more than in last January. In turn, the volume of cargo increased by 87.3% as compared to January 2017, reaching 2464 tons. In January 2018, the number of flights handled at Riga Airport went up by 18%, servicing a total of 6037 aircraft.
“The increase in passenger numbers was first of all facilitated by the exciting winter destinations from Riga Airport, which offer our travellers a wide range of options. They can enjoy winter activities or easily get to a sunny resort, or go on a business trip to any of Europe's big air traffic hubs,” says Ilona Līce, Chairperson of the Board of Riga International Airport. “The flow of transit and transfer passengers also keeps growing: in January, the number of transit passengers travelling through Riga increased by 24.1%,” Līce says.
The offer of airlines operating at Riga Airport for the summer season of 2018 allows forecasting a further increase in the passenger numbers. According to Līce, airlines have already announced opening of 13 new destinations from Riga Airport this summer, and the total number of destinations will thus reach 96. It will be the widest network of routes in the history of Riga Airport.
New destinations in the summer season of 2018 (it will start in March, together with the transition to the summer time) will be launched by the national airline airBaltic, which will operate flights to Lisbon, Malaga, Split, Gdansk, Bordeaux, Sochi, Kaliningrad and Almaty. The Irish low-cost airline Ryanair will start flights to Girona, Paphos and Bourgas, while the Hungarian low-cost airline Wizzair will launch flights to Kutaisi in Georgia. For the first time in history, the Latvian-based carrier Primera Air will launch its service from Riga Airport, offering passengers an opportunity to travel to Malaga.
Passengers have highly valued the quality of services provided at Riga Airport - in 2017 Riga Airport ranked 8th in the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Survey organised by the Airports Council International (ACI) in the group of airports handling 5 - 15 million passengers annually. There are altogether 34 European airports included in this group of the ASQ survey.
Riga International Airport is the largest air traffic hub in the Baltics. The 20 airlines operating at Riga Airport offer more than 70 destinations in the winter season and almost 90 in the summer season. In 2017, Riga Airport handled over 6 million passengers - 45% of the entire Baltic air passenger traffic.