Latvia’s airline airBaltic carried a total of 2,757,404 passengers in 2009, 6 percent more than in 2008. Strong performance into December suggests that preliminary profit numbers for the year will be 14 million lats (20 million euros). Due to strong development of transfer traffic, it has been possible to maintain the level of passenger revenue through the year. Profit has been greatly enhanced by the sale of different services – hotels, insurance, car rentals, etc. Despite 2009 being a “challenging year for the aviation industry,” according to President and CEO Bertolt Flick, airBaltic improved its service and operational and financial performance.
Plummeting prices of land and construction work was reflected in the price drop for new housing development costs of approximately 50 percent as compared to 2007, according to Tarkinvestor data, reports LETA. The fall in construction costs is expected to give a boost to the construction sector. The construction price index has fallen annually since the first quarter 2009, mainly because of cheaper labor costs. The index fell 10.5 percent in the third quarter 2009, year-on-year. The third quarter fall of the index was mainly influenced by the decrease in labor costs, by 18.4 percent. Four groups of buildings make up the price index - detached houses, blocks of flats, industrial buildings and office buildings.
Cargo turnover at the Liepaja port in 2009 reached 4,381,390 tons, a 4.6 percent increase on 2008, said Liepaja Special Economic Zone’s public relations officer Liga Ratniece-Kadege, reports LETA. In 2009, 1,456 ships entered the port, 32 more than in 2008. As in past years, dry cargo accounted for the bulk, or 46 percent, of the port’s cargo handling. In 2009, 2 million tons of dry cargo was handled, 7.5 percent more than in 2008, including 1.7 million tons of grain and grain products and woodchips, construction materials and scrap metal. The largest cargo increase was recorded with ro-ro cargo thanks to the launch of the Liepaja-Luebeck ferry route in November 2008.