RIGA - This year the largest number of transit passengers at Riga International Airport are on flights to/from Tallinn, Vilnius and Palanga, Laila Odina, the airport's chairwoman, told LETA in an interview.
There are many transit passengers also on flights to/from Tampere, Tbilisi, Bucharest, Yerevan and Kittila.
According to Odina, transit passengers account for 40-50 percent or even more on these flights. At the same time, other flights also have transit passengers, but usually 15-25 percent.
"So we can say that transit passengers are mostly our neighbors - in Lithuania, Estonia and the Nordic countries. They mostly use Riga Airport to connect to other flights," Odina added.
The head of the airport also said that the number of passengers flying in transit is increasing, and in July the share of transit passengers was about 26 percent of all passengers.
"Both during Covid-19 and after the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the number of transit passengers dropped dramatically and, consequently, the transit flows to/from Riga Airport also broke down. This summer, thanks to the new destinations introduced by airBaltic, which are attractive for transit passengers, the number of transit passengers has significantly increased," said the airport head.
She pointed out that airBaltic currently handles about 98 percent of all transit passengers at Riga Airport, while Uzbekistan Airways, LOT and Lufthansa are the other airlines, but their transit passenger numbers are small.
Last year Riga Airport handled a total of 5.381 million passengers. The figure is 2.3 times higher than in 2021, but 31 percent less than in 2019.
Riga International Airport is the largest air hub in the Baltic States.