The Number of Cargo Flights Handled at Riga Airport Keeps Growing

Oct. 6, 2021

Operational data shows that the number of cargo flights serviced at Riga Airport continued to grow in September, showing a 56 percent increase as compared to the corresponding period of 2019.

This September, the airport handled 214 cargo flights, and from January to September a total of almost 2,000 cargo flights, which is 47 percent more than in the first nine months of 2019. The increase in the number of flights is also reflected in the tonnes of cargo handled – as compared to the results of 2019, Riga Airport handled 52 percent more cargo (13.1 thousand tonnes of cargo) in the first nine months of this year. The total volume of cargo carried on cargo and passenger flights in the first nine months of this year accounts for 18.3 thousand tonnes.

“The targeted investments and works for the development of the Airport's cargo segment are highly valued by our customers, we see this in the overall cargo turnover trends. By offering the necessary infrastructure and solutions, we are strengthening our potential to be an important regional hub in the air cargo sector as well,” says Laila Odiņa, chairperson of the airport board.

The international cargo delivery company Venipak launched regular cargo flights from Riga to Hong Kong last month, and plans two flights a week on this route in October. The cargo carrier ATRAN Airlines, which provides mainly Latvijas Pasts transit cargo carriage services between Riga and China, marked its thousandth flight to Riga in September.

The number of passengers handled at Riga Airport this September reached 334,000, which is a drop of 55 percent as compared to the pre-pandemic year. In turn, the number of passenger flights handled in September, with 3,754 flights handled at the Airport, is 50 percent lower than in September 2019.   

In annual breakdown, the number of passengers in the nine months of this year has dropped by 76 percent as compared to 2019, reaching 1.43 million; as compared to 2020, this indicator has decreased by one fifth or 21 %.

Of the total number of passengers, 58.1 % were carried by the national airline airBaltic, 18 % – by the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, and 6 percent – by the Hungarian low-cost airline WizzAir.