Demonstrating its leading position in the Baltic region on Wednesday, 28 December, Riga International Airport achieved a new passenger traffic record exceeding the threshold of 5.3 million passengers. The lucky 5 390 000th passenger Airi Noor arrived at the Airport with a flight from Tallinn operated by the Latvian national carrier airBaltic.
Arnis Muižnieks, Director of Aviation Department, Ministry of Transport: “Closing the year with a new passenger traffic record, Riga International Airport has once again proven itself as the undisputed leader in the Baltic region. The recent ambitious investments in the Airport infrastructure, upgrading the airfield and improving passenger service facilities, have made Riga even more attractive to both airlines and travellers. Airport development is closely linked to the growth of the national airline airBaltic, which this year carried more than half of the passengers of Riga Airport."
Normunds Feierbergs, Member of the Board of SJSC Riga International Airport: "A new passenger traffic record - 5 390 000 passengers, once again proves the sound growth of Riga Airport, and we are very grateful to our passengers who choose our Airport for their journeys, as well as to the airlines that provide an extensive aviation traffic offer from Riga. Forecasting future increase in passenger numbers, the Airport is already planning the next steps for further improvement of the passenger terminal, expanding the check-in hall, the baggage claim and sorting areas, security control area, as well as constructing of a multi-storey car park and connection to the newly built "Rail Baltica" Riga Airport station. Our goal is to create an airport that would meet the needs of our passengers and be a place to return to again and again!"
Martin Gauss, CEO airBaltic: “airBaltic fleet expansion with new, larger aircraft means that in 2017 we will be able to offer 16% more tickets, since the number of seats to be sold will increase. airBaltic will fly more often to European airports, while in the most popular routes such as Copenhagen-Riga we will use a larger jet aircraft which will replace the turboprop plane. Thus, we expect that the improved airBaltic service next year will allow us to increase the number of customers".
Riga International Airport presented the lucky passenger with Airport loyalty programme RIX Club card and Airport souvenirs. airBaltic presented Airi Noor with a certificate for a flight in business class, while Airport's co-operation partners TAV Latvia Ltd. (representative of TAV Airports Holding in Latvia) represented by Hakan Uzunosmanoglu, and holding's subsidiary JSC Riga Airport Commercial Development (ATU Duty Free) welcomed the passenger with their gift baskets.
By the end of the year Riga International Airport intends to serve 5.39 million passengers. London, Moscow, Oslo, Frankfurt and Helsinki are this year's most popular destinations (cities) from Riga Airport. In turn, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, Norway and Finland are the most frequently visited countries.
airBaltic serves direct flights from Riga to 60 destinations. airBaltic offers convenient connections via Riga to its network spanning Scandinavia, Europe, Russia, CIS and the Middle East. In addition, airBaltic also offers new direct flights from Tallinn and Vilnius.
Riga International Airport reached its first million of passengers on 13 December 2004. Two years later, on 17 October 2006, the Airport greeted its two-millionth passenger; a year later the Airport served 3 million passengers, while in 2009 - already four million. Riga International Airport welcomed its five-millionth passenger on 21 December 2011, while last year the Airport handled 5.16 million passengers.
Riga International Airport is the largest air traffic hub in the Baltics. The 20 airlines operating at Riga Airport offer 60 destinations in the winter season and 79 in the summer season.