In the 1st quarter of 2018, Riga International Airport handled 1.35 million passengers, which is almost 20% more than in the first three months of the previous year, while the cargo volumes went up by nearly 70%.
The operational performance data for the 1st quarter of the year show that in the first three months of the year, Riga Airport has already handled 1 352 776 passengers, which is a growth of 19.4% as compared to the corresponding period of 2017.
This March, Riga International Airport served more than half a million passengers, which is the largest number of passengers ever handled by the Airport in the third month of the year. Passenger figures in March, as compared to March 2017, have increased by 20.4%.
26.8% of the passengers served in the first quarter travelled through Riga in transit - a total of 362.7 transit and transfer passengers chose Riga Airport in the first three months of the year. It is an increase of 23.4%.
7932 tons of cargo were handled at Riga Airport in the 1st quarter of the year, which is 68.2% more than in the first three months of 2017. In turn, the number of flights has increased by 16%, and Riga Airport has already served a total of 17.8 thousand aircraft this year, of which 6390 - in March.
“The increase in passenger numbers by almost 20% allows Riga Airport not only to maintain its leading position in the Baltic States, but also be among the fastest growing airports in Europe, where according to the Airport Council International (ACI) data, the average passenger number growth in the first months of the year is about 7.1%,” says Ilona Līce, Chairperson of the Board of Riga International Airport. “The growth is based on the successful policy of airlines operating at Riga Airport, offering a wide network of routes with 100 direct destinations attracting passengers from the Baltic region, as well as transit travellers from Europe, Russia and Asia. In the first quarter, the number of seats offered by airlines increased by 17%, and aircraft occupancy rate has increased by 1%,” Līce says.
London (+8.7%), Moscow (+12.6%) and Helsinki (+24.7%) were the most popular destinations from Riga Airport in the 1st quarter of 2018.
The national airline airBaltic, with a growth of 24.6% in its passenger figures in the first quarter of 2018 remains the largest carrier at Riga Airport, and its market share is 50.6%. The Irish low-cost airline Ryanair is the second largest airline, and its passenger numbers have grown by 4.4% accounting for 17.1% of the market. The Hungarian low-cost airline WizzAir also witnessed a significant passenger growth of 35.2% in the 1st quarter of the year (10.8% market share).
In the 1st quarter of 2018, Riga Airport handled almost 44% of the Baltic passengers and more than 55% of air cargo volumes. The total number of passengers handled in the Baltic capitals this year has increased by 17%, reaching 3.1 million passengers.
Riga International Airport is the largest air traffic hub in the Baltics. The 19 airlines operating at Riga Airport offer almost 80 destinations in the winter season and 100 in the summer season. In 2017, Riga airport handled over 6 million passengers - 45% of the entire Baltic air passenger traffic.