Latvia – USA direct flights will be possible in future

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assigned Category 1 to Latvia following an audit of the Latvian Civil Aviation Agency (CAA). It entitles aircraft operators established in Latvia to carry out commercial flights to the United States, Latvian Television reported on July 6.

For more than half a year, the FAA examined the compliance of the regulatory enactments in the civil aviation field of Latvia with the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the quality of the supervision implemented by the CAA.

"Our airlines had no right to take flights to the US. We couldn't work with US companies either. This will also help in investment and credit rating matters because companies that are based and established in a category 1 country have more favorable conditions," said Māris Gorodcovs, head of CAA.

The results of the audit are particularly welcomed not only in Latvia, but also in the United States. One of the largest cooperation agreements, which was signed in 2021 but will start in a few months, is between the Latvian national airline airBaltic and one of the largest US airlines, Delta Air Lines.

"This is an excellent achievement and assessment for Latvia [..]. This means that every Latvian airline can now take direct flights to and from the United States. This is an achievement not only for us but will also open the door for US citizens to reach the Baltic more quickly and easily through Riga airport," said Martins Gauss, executive director of airBaltic.

Direct flights are planned to be developed by business aviation providers in the near future.

"Flights between Europe and America are a significant part of the market that wasn't available to us before. We expect the number of such flights to be quite significant. This means that it would be beneficial for us to expand the fleet of long-haul airplanes," said Juris Ignatovičs, Head of Union Aviation Flight Department.


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