The operational performance data show that in the 1st quarter of 2021, the number of passengers served at Riga Airport dropped by 91%, handling only 9% of last year's passenger figures.
This March, the Airport handled 33 275 passengers, which is nine thousand more than a month before. However, as compared to 2020, the decline in the number of passengers in March is still significant – 86%; moreover, it should be noted that the Latvian government almost completely suspended international air traffic in the second half of last March. Compared to the pre-crisis indicators of 2019, the number of passengers dropped by almost 94% in March, whereas the total number of passengers served at the Airport in the first quarter of the year has decreased by 93%.
The majority or 69% of passengers were carried by the national airline airBaltic, 10% by the Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair and 5% by Lufthansa. The share of transfer passengers in the first three months amounted to 13% of the total number of passengers.
In March, it was possible to fly from Riga Airport to 33 destinations offered by scheduled carriers, the most popular of which were Amsterdam, Frankfurt and London. The Polish airline LOT and the Belarusian carrier Belavia resumed flights from Riga Airport last month.
1424 flights were handled at Riga Airport this March. The largest portion – 657 flights – were operated by scheduled passenger carriers, 303 were business aviation flights, while 245 flights were operated by cargo carriers. A total of 4249 aircraft took off and landed at the Airport in the 1st quarter of this year; the number of flights in 2021 has decreased by 77% as compared to 2019.
2283 tonnes of cargo were handled at Riga Airport this March, which is the largest volume of cargo handled in one month this year. As compared to March 2019, the volume of cargo has increased by 0.2%. However, in the first three months of 2021, as compared to the corresponding period of 2019, the volume of cargo has decreased by 13%; compared to 2020, there is an increase of 1.5%. The decrease in regular passenger flights still has an impact on the volume of cargo handled at the Airport; however, the cargo flight segment witnesses a significant increase – the volume of cargo transported on these flights has doubled as compared to 2019 (+51.8%).
Riga Airport is a fast-growing Northern European air traffic hub, connecting the Baltic States with European business centres and popular holiday destinations. As a member organization of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Aviation Industry Charter for COVID-19, Riga Airport works to the highest standards of epidemiological safety. Skytrax has awarded Riga Airport a four-star rating for its implemented Covid-19 safety measures.