The number of passengers transported by the national airline airBaltic has increased significantly compared to the beginning of the year, but it has still not returned to the level before the crisis. In June this year, 115 thousand passengers were transported, which is 70% more than in May, but 79% fewer than in the same period last year. This is also one of the main reasons for postponing the resumption of the only domestic voyage Rīga-Liepāja.
airBaltic spokesman Didzis Rudmanis explained that airBaltic's flight planning team looks at the route network according to different criteria: route demand, financial forecasts, the impact of the flight on airBaltic's network.
The management of Liepāja airport said that on the one hand, the cancellation of the flights is a loss for the whole region because tourism and business travel flow is declining, but the airport itself is even saving money. Most flights arrive from Rīga at night-time when it is more expensive to operate the airport, whereas now the airport only works during the daytime. None of the 50 airport personnel has been fired because private charter flights and airBaltic pilots' school flights must be provided.
According to the calculations of the Liepāja City Council, which is the shareholder of Liepājas airport, the postponement of the scheduled flights at the airport has not affected the financial situation at least for the time being. Each year, the municipality allocates approximately EUR 1.2 million to the airport for operating purposes, and this amount has not been revised at present.
Vice-President Atis Deksnis (Regional Alliance) said: “At the end of the year, we will certainly see the results of all capital companies, and then we will also think about whether additional funds are needed. The airport on its own is doing everything so that activity does not stop. We hope that the situation will change to the better and airBaltic will be able to resume flights."
Previously, it had been planned that the domestic flights would resume in the summer.