Riga Airport is winding up the year 2018 with a new record – on Thursday, 27 December, the Airport welcomed its seven millionth passenger Anete Kinčus flying airBaltic to Geneva.
“While we are welcoming our this year’s seven millionth passenger, this symbolic figure has probably already been exceeded by several hundred. Riga Airport handles an average of 20 000 passengers a day, with half a million passengers a month. Latest data show that the number of passengers who choose Riga Airport for their travel has increased by 16% as compared to the previous year. I would like to thank all our passengers for this growth, since thanks to them Riga Airport has been recognised as one of the fastest growing European airports handling 5-10 million passengers annually,” said Ilona Līce, Chairperson of the Board of Riga International Airport, at this festive event.
This is just one of the Airport's this year's records, since along with the passenger growth also the volume of cargo has been increasing. Between January and November, Riga Airport served 77 thousand flights, which is an increase of 12.2% over the same period in 2017. The volume of cargo handled has also increased significantly, reaching 25.6 thousand tons of cargo – 13.2% more than a year ago.
“The national airline airBaltic is the Airport's most important partner; the number of passengers carried by this airline at Riga Airport has increased by almost 19%, and the market share of the carrier reaches almost 55%,” says Līce, noting that almost all of the airlines operating at Riga Airport have experienced growth this year.
Toms Andersons, Vice President airBaltic Sales: “It is a great honour for us to be a significant part of the growth of Riga Airport. Over the past 23 years, a successful symbiosis has developed between Riga Airport and airBaltic, promoting the growth of both companies. Riga Airport is a professional and active partner and our growth would not be possible without it. In the coming years, airBaltic plans to increase the number of destinations and flights offered from Riga, and we are confident that we will reach new peaks together with the Airport in the near future.”
On this day, Riga Airport seven millionth passenger had the opportunity to enjoy a special service – individual welcome, the opportunity to use the fast track security checkpoint, to shop in the “ATU Duty Free” shops for 300 euros, as well as to relax at Riga Airport primeclass Business Lounge. Gifts were prepared by Riga Airport partners – by “TAV Latvia”, who presented the traveller with a Samsung tablet, by “C&B Latvia” (the Airport’s café manager) who presented a gift card worth 100 euros, as well as by the groundhandler “Havas Latvia” who presented a new travel suitcase.
Before departure, the passenger was welcomed by Juris Kanels, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, and Ilona Līce, Chairperson of the Board of Riga Airport, presenting flowers and Airport's gift set, while Toms Andersons, Vice President airBaltic Sales, on behalf of the airline gave the passenger the opportunity to enjoy the flight in business class.
There was also a special drummer show prepared by “Drumline Latvia” – a band of students from Andžejs Grauds’s Drum School.
Riga International Airport is the second fastest growing airport in Europe according to the Airport Council International (ACI) report on airport performance in Europe in the 2nd quarter of 2018. The 20 airlines operating at Riga Airport offer more than 70 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.