Despite the steady decline in the passenger traffic and freight turnover registered at European airports, Riga International Airport is a shining exception. According to the latest report of the Airports Council International (ACI) for April 2009, Riga International Airport welcomed 19.6 percent more passengers than in April 2008, which is the biggest increase in passenger traffic among European airports. The overall passenger traffic at European airports fell by 4.8 percent year on year.
According to the latest data of ACI Europe, the overall passenger traffic at European airports in April decreased by 4.8 percent, whereas freight traffic plummeted by 25.4 percent compared with April 2008. „These are the most accurate and authoritative data in the aviation industry relied upon by airports, airlines, investors and business partners,” said Krišjānis Peters, Chairman of the Board of Riga International Airport.
Riga International Airport is a shining exception in the European airport community showing the highest increase in passenger traffic and leaving behind such European airports as Bari, Bologna, Lisbon, Marseille, and others.
K.Peters added: „For more than three years Riga International Airport has invariably shown the best results in passenger traffic among European airports. It is the best testimony of our successful cooperation with airlines which was manifested by the prestigious Routes and OAG Airport Marketing Award that we received as the best airport in the Scandinavian and Baltic region. We have the enterprise, enthusiasm and competence to do it. It shows that Latvia can!”
ACI Europe divides airports in 4 groups:
· Group 1 – airports welcoming more than 25 million passengers per year. In this group an average decrease of passenger traffic was -3.2 percent;
· Group 2 – airports welcoming from 10 to 25 million passengers per year. This group reported a decrease of –5.7 percent;
· Group 3 – airports welcoming from 5 to 10 million passengers per year – average decrease of passenger traffic -5.3 percent;
· Group 4 – airports welcoming less than 5 million passengers per year (Riga International Airport belongs here) – passenger traffic down by 5.7 percent year on year.
Increase in passenger traffic:
Group 1 airports – London LHR (+2.6%),
Group 2 airports - Lisbon (+10.3%), Milan MXP (+7.9%) and Geneva (+5.0%),
Group 3 airports – Marseille (+9.8%), Milan BGY (+2.4%) and Berlin SXF (+5.5%),
Group 4 airports – Riga (19.6%), Bari (+19.5%) and Bologna (+17.4%).
*ACI (Airports Council International) is the only worldwide professional association of airport operators. ACI Europe represents more than 400 airports in 45 European countries. ACI Europe member airports handle more than 90% of commercial air traffic in Europe, welcoming over nearly 1.5 billion passengers per year.