RIGA - Last year, Riga International Airport was the third fastest-growing airport in European capital cities, the airport's representatives informed LETA, citing a report by Airport Council International (ACI) on airports' performance in 2019.
The number of passengers at Riga Airport rose 10.5 percent last year, which is the third steepest growth after Vienna Airport and Milan Malpensa Airport.
In 2019, Riga Airport's growth was more than twice as fast as on average in Europe where passenger numbers grew by 3.3 percent on year, according to the ACI report.
Transport Minister Talis Linkaits (New Conservative Party) indicated that he has called on the Latvian aviation sector to be more ambitious and become stronger not only in the region but also in the European context. "The sector can certainly provide an even greater contribution to the national economy, and Riga Airport's strategic goal for business expansion to the North European market is an important step in that direction," the minister said.
Riga Airport CEO Ilona Lice said that its new passenger terminal and link to Rail Baltic railway line will completely change Riga Airport visually and that the time has come also for more essential change.
"Our goal is to become an air traffic hub of the North European region, with the emphasis on attracting the flow of transit passengers and developing long-distance routes," she said.
Maris Gorodcovs, director of the Civil Aviation Agency, praised Latvia's ability to compete not only with its neighbor countries but also Europe's large countries.
As reported, Riga Airport handled 7.798 million passengers in 2019, up 10.5 percent against 2018.
Riga International Airport is the largest air traffic hub in the Baltic states.