On Friday, 18 December, at the shareholder meeting of SJSC of Riga International Airport, the business strategy of Riga International Airport for the period until the year 2036 and the business plan for the period until 2020 were approved.
The strategy emphasises Riga Airport’s essential role in the Latvian aviation industry and in facilitating the growth and development of the national economy.
“The growth of the airport in the long term is achievable if we focus on service quality excellence and support a vast, sustainable and reliable air traffic network,” said Andris Liepiņš, chairman of the board of Riga International Airport.
The airport’s strategic goal is ever-better quality of passenger facilities and services. It is to be achieved by increasing the number of flights to the destinations of strategic importance for Latvia’s economy and by improving the service quality while maintaining cost efficiency and boosting the airport’s non-aviation income.
The business strategy was outlined based on an in-depth analysis of the economic growth potential in Latvia and the Baltic countries, given the demographic situation and the residents’ travel habits. Relying on the positive development of the above factors, Riga Airport expects the annual passenger traffic to reach seven million over the coming 20 years. The route network would provide regular connections with Europe’s largest capitals, increasing flight frequency and the development of Riga Airport as the regional hub with the growing role of the national carrier in the Baltic countries. The coming years will see the rise in the importance of the businesses providing services to the aviation industry in cargo handling, aircraft service and repairs etc. By 2036, it would help increase the contribution of the Latvian aviation industry to GDP to 3.5% from approximately 3% in 2014.
Major investments at Riga Airport in the coming seven-year period will be allocated for expansion of the terminal making it more comfortable for the clients. Already in the autumn of 2016, passengers will be able to use new boarding gates, more spacious lounges and new commercial areas. Schedules are ready for expansion of the check-in hall, construction of a baggage sorting facility, new car parks and the connection of the terminal with a railway station on the main line of Rail Baltica. The development of the aerodrome and the airport’s public infrastructure is planned with the view on the achievement of climate policy objectives (construction of the second rapid-exit taxiway, reconstruction of the technical services building and the lighting system as well as reconstruction of the storm water drainage system on the airport landside etc.).
The business plan of Riga Airport has been drafted taking into account the assessment of aviation industry prospects, the changes in airport and airline business models, including the growing influence of budget carriers having essential impact on the existing operations and future growth of Riga Airport.
Riga International Airport is the largest air traffic hub in the Baltic countries. In the winter season, Riga airport offers flights to 69 whereas in the summer season – to 89 destinations, operated by 21 airlines.