Twenty years ago Finnair began flying to and from Riga International Airport, resuming regular service between the Latvian capital and Finnair’s hub in Helsinki. A ceremony at the airport today will mark the occasion, while Finnair passengers arriving and departing from RIX will receive special gifts from airport personnel. Passengers will also be offered complimentary champagne on board their flights.
Finnair currently offers three flights per day between Riga and Helsinki.
“We have been very happy wIth the great cooperation with the world-class team at RIX over the past twenty years,” says Arunas Skuja, Finnair’s Sales Manager for the Baltic States. “It has also been a pleasure to play a part in reconnecting Latvia with the rest of Northern Europe -- and increasingly with Finnair’s destinations in East Asia as well.”
”We are pleased with the successful cooperation, as the airline Finnair is a stable and predictable company, providing our passengers high-quality service and wide travel opportunities from Riga via Helsinki,” says Arnis Luhse, Chairman of the Board of Riga International Airport.
The Finnish flag carrier first began flying to Riga in 1927, when the company was still known as Aero Oy (hence “AY”, which is still the airline’s IATA code). Service was disrupted, however, with World War II and the postwar division of Europe.
In the 20 years since re-establishing air links between Helsinki and Riga, Finnair’s frequent connections have facilitated deeper business and personal ties between Latvia and the Nordic countries. Finnish companies have increased their investments in Latvia and vice versa, while Latvian tourists have also flocked to Finland and Finnish Lapland, in particular. Finns, meanwhile, have rediscovered Riga and the rest of Latvia as a popular leisure destination rich in architectural and cultural heritage.
Moreover, as Finnair has significantly developed its capacity to Asian destinations over the past 20 years, it has also promoted deeper business ties and leisure travel between the booming economies of East Asia and Latvia. Earlier this month, Finnair opened a new route to Chongqing, becoming the first airline to connect Europe to China’s rapidly growing inland metropolis of more than 30 million.