Riga International Airport, along with its home carrier airlines airBaltic is growing by leaps and bounds. They have significantly increased their air traffic, passenger numbers and are at the forefront of the air services in the Baltics. This has enhanced connectivity for this region with the rest of the world to a great extent. And consequently, this is a great boost in helping Riga/Latvia secure its position firmly as a MICE destination.
Riga Airport is the leading airport in the Baltics. It caters to nearly half of all the passengers going in and out of the Baltic region and handles the highest number of cargo and aircrafts in this region. This year, it increased its number of direct destinations to 100, which according to Laura Audarina, the Route Development Manager, is certainly “a good sign”.
Among the major European airports connected directly to Riga, we have Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Berlin and Dusseldorf in Germany, Vienna airport in Austria, Zurich and Geneva airports in Switzerland with flights time under 2 hours from all these places. In the 1st quarter of 2018 as compared to the corresponding period last year, the number of passengers handled at Riga Airport grew by almost 20%, while cargo figures went up by two thirds, or nearly 70%. This is a significant number and a major achievement for the airport!
The airport has undergone major revamp in light of this increased human and air traffic. Three different places offering excellent food and drinks recently opened at the airport: Asparagoose (fresh and healthy food), Easy Wine Bar, TickerDaze (Sports bar). Further, the Airport is planning improvements in the check-in and security control areas of the current passenger terminal. They plan to construct the new landside area of the passenger terminal, which will be connected to Rail Baltica railway station. Once this project is completed, the Airport will be ready to service up to 10 million passengers a year.
Riga airport is just 9km from Riga city centre and that makes transfer time efficient and short. Even other Latvian cities are conveniently close by from the Riga airport – Jurmala is located only 10 km away and Sigulda approx. 60 km.
The largest single flight carrier at this airport is airBaltic, holding 50% of the air traffic. Recently, airBaltic received the ATW Airline Industry Achievement Award as the Market Leader of the Year 2017 (to recognize excellence in the air transport industry). The Market Leader of the Year award usually goes to an airline that has set itself apart from its peers either in a geographic region or a market sector, or that has created or stimulated a market. According to ATW, airBaltic received the award for dramatically expanding and improving commercial air service in the Baltic.
The innovative airline delivers quality customer service, with advanced aircraft such as the Bombardier C Series and high performance standards. Eight new state-of-the-art Bombardier CS300 aircraft have been inducted which offer increased comfort to passengers through significant noise reduction and larger seats, windows and luggage compartments.
airBaltic works closely with MEET RIGA and LIAA in promotion for the destination – they agree on joint projects, joint activities and campaigns. And this is very important as Irina Pilipenko, Area Sales Manager of airBaltic puts it: “You can’t sell anything if your destination is not known.” Hence this makes for a symbiotic relationship beneficial to all the parties.
Planning an event or conference in Riga/Latvia will allow delegates to come experience the ease and comfort of flying with airBaltic, the super services offered by Riga airport, and the old world charm of this Baltic country with all comforts for a perfect event.
Aigars Smiltans, Director MEET RIGA and partners are exhibiting at IMEX 2018 being held in Frankfurt from 15-17th May 2018. You can check out all that Riga/Latvia has to offer and you can also book a personal appointment for detailed information and discussion for your next event planning. You can access their stand (F280) details and make an appointment here.
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