On March 12, the new Pilots Academy aircraft hangar was unveiled at Liepāja airport. On the same day, the first state of emergency was announced in Latvia due to the pandemic, leading many flights to be canceled.
The opening of the hangar at the Liepāja airfield was one of those events which, despite restrictions and flight stoppages, allows them to talk about growth. Though regular flights could be provided only episodically, a positive outcome was due to the Air Baltic Pilot Academy work, which provided flights all throughout the emergency and will continue.
Liepāja airport has had positive statistics thanks to the academy, said Agris Sprūde, head of the Aviocompany Liepāja:
"Thanks largely to the Pilots Academy training flights, the number of flights has increased by 16% compared to the previous year. There have been 4117 flights, it's a record.
I can't say about the 1990s and long ago, but these are the biggest figures that have happened at the airport recently. The number of passengers transported has fallen, though."
There was also a unique flight from this small regional airport during the pandemic.
"There was a flight to Dallas, Texas, without landing. I don't know if this distance has been reached in the past from Liepāja,” said airport manager.
He hopes the sector will experience a recovery next year, and March is the foreseeable future, when scheduled flights are likely to resume as well. Currently, Liepāja airport personnel are prepared to service passengers and the airport can provide all functions.