Riga International Airport served half of the total amount of passengers and cargo in all three Baltic States, confirming its status as the leading regional aviation hub.
In total it serviced 6,097,765 passengers, which is by 12.9% more than in 2016. At the same time, the volume of cargo at the airport has grown by almost a third, accounting for 51% of the Baltic states' cargo market.
For passengers the busiest month was July last year, with 646,268 passengers passing through. 53.3% were carried by the national airline airBaltic, 15.7% by the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, and 9.1% by the Hungarian low-cost airline WizzAir.
The most popular destinations in 2017 were London, Moscow and Frankfurt. In Moscow, an increase of 11.5% was observed, which is related to an increase in the number of transfer passengers in this direction by 18.3% and an increase in direct passenger traffic by 9.1%. The most popular transit destinations were Tallinn, Vilnius, Moscow, Helsinki and St. Petersburg.
In 2017, the Riga Airport experienced a rapid growth in air freight market, with a 29.2% increase in cargo handling volumes facilitated by the opening of a regular cargo flight by Turkish Cargo, as well as by a cooperation project between Latvia's national postal service and e-commerce giant Alibaba, which resulted in the delivery of cargo from China at the airport.
In 2018 and in the years to come, Riga Airport plans to continue the development of the passenger terminal by expanding the passenger registration hall, luggage delivery and sorting zones, security control area, as well as the construction of multi-storey car parks and connection to the major Rail Baltica project with a dedicated rail station to be built by 2023.
On 28 December, the airport welcomed its six millionth passenger. Lithuanian Egle Marcinkeviciute, along with her family, arrived at Riga Airport on a flight from Copenhagen operated by the Latvian national airline airBaltic to continue her trip to Vilnius with a transfer flight.
“I am happy and satisfied that the Airport is becoming more and more attractive not only to passengers, but also to airlines. A total of almost 20 new destinations from Riga Airport were opened this year; several airlines have already announced new routes for the next year - Lisbon, Kutaisi, Gdansk, Bordeaux, Malaga and others. We hope that passengers will appreciate it and will choose our Airport again,” said Ilona Līce, Chairwoman of the Board of Riga International Airport.
Riga Airport Passenger Records by Year:
Passenger No. 1 000 000 – 13 December 2004;
Passenger No. 2 000 000 – 17 October 2006;
Passenger No. 3 000 000 – 10 December 2007;
Passenger No. 4 000 000 – 21 December 2009;
Passenger No. 5 000 000 – 21 December 2011;
Passenger No. 6 000 000 – 28 December 2017.
Riga International Airport is the largest air traffic hub in the Baltics. The 20 airlines operating at Riga Airport offer more than 70 destinations in the winter season and almost 90 in the summer season.