Latvia - Articles and news items
Issue 4 2010 • 9 August 2010 • Richard Piper, Editor, International Airport Review
On 8 June, just 12 months after my last visit to the Baltic, I found myself in the business class cabin of an airBaltic Boeing 737 on my way to Riga once more. Having been handed a press pack on the aircraft I duly opened this up and proceeded to browse the lineup for the following day’s conference “North Hub Riga.” On arrival, myself and a handful of other journalists were met by Ketrina, our representative from airBaltic, who immediately led us to a waiting car. We were then driven through the warm evening to the Latvian National Opera, where we were to watch a magnificent performance of Giacomo Puccini’s Il Trittico. A thoroughly pleasant way to spend the first evening.
Over the last five years Riga International Airport has presented one of the highest growth rates in the industry, by consistently increasing the number of passengers on average by 20% a year. Since 2004 Riga International Airport has raised the passenger number five times, reaching 3.6 million in 2008 and setting a target of 4.1 million for this year.
From the capital of Latvia, Riga, you can reach “Riga International Airport” in 7 minutes. Latvia is located between the Baltic States (Lithuania and Estonia) and therefore it can cover larger territories. Approximately 2.5 million people in the Baltic States live within a two-hour drive and 3.6 million people live within a four-hour drive from Riga airport.
The wave of EU accession that has swept Riga International Airport into its position of enviable growth has not been secured complacently, but with constant development, careful planning and the continual innovation necessary to move on from its Soviet heritage, Riga Airport CEO Dzintars Pomers writes.