Air passenger traffic expected to resume starting 2024 - Riga Airport CEO

  • 2020-10-19
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - Current forecasts suggest that the traffic of air passengers, which has seriously reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, might be renewed starting 2024, Riga International Airport CEO Laila Odina said in an interview to TV3 channel. 

The airport's CEO indicated that as recently as in the spring there were hopes that passenger traffic could resume from next year, but the latest forecasts are not so upbeat anymore. 

Odina said that in the current situation the airport has started investing primarily in cargo deliveries and business aviation in order to attract new cargo carriers and increase turnover.

The airport's CEO admitted however that the share of cargo business was quite small in the airport's total turnover, making up around 8 percent, which means that the cargo deliveries cannot compensate for the shortfall created by the steep drop in air passenger traffic. 

The situation is not good for attracting new passenger carriers either, Odina said.

For the time being, the airport survives on its last year's earnings, Odina said, adding that the airport still has not received the government financing allocated in the spring, as this support has to be authorized by the European Commission. 

As reported, the Cabinet of Ministers on April 23 made a decision to invest EUR 49.91 million in the airport's share capital in order to help the company overcome the crisis and stabilize the economic situation in the sector. Also, the company keeps its dividends worth EUR 4.51 million from last year's profit to cover the loss caused by the Covid-19 crisis and support implementation of the investment projects.