Baltic airports post record growth

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2016 was an exceptionally successful year for Baltic airports, almost all of which saw passenger numbers grow. The Rīga International Airport remains the regional leader, but other airports - like Vilnius - are picking up the pace, reported Wednesday.

In 2016 a record 5.4 million people were served at the Rīga Airport, said a recent press release. This is a record number and marks a 4.7% increase over 2015 ( estimates it's about 240 thousand people).

While Lithuania's Vilnius Airport served a record 3.8 million passengers or 14% more on year than in 2015, the airport says. According to estimates it's an increase of about 465 thousand people.

Estonia's Tallinn posted a much slower increase with 2.2 million passengers served, or an increase of 2.5%.

Some regional airports, like the Tartu Airport in Estonia recorded an increase of 40% to 29.5 thousand passengers while the Palanga Airport grew 60% to 222 thousand people served.

The Kaunas Airport served about the same number of passengers as last year but part of the flights previously landing at the airport were directed to Vilnius.

The Rīga International Airport is the country's only air traffic hub with the Liepāja regional airport is to open in May this year. 

Rīga is planning to increase the number of tickets sold by 16% this year due to the arrival of the new CS300 aircraft (airBaltic has orders for 20).

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