Riga Airport Sees Solid Passenger Growth in March 2024

An airBaltic flight taxis at Riga International Airport
Photo Credit: Riga International Airport

Riga International Airport (RIX) has released preliminary performance data for March, showing a solid year-on-year growth in traffic.

Overall, the figures show the Baltic airport handled more than 1.3 million passengers across the first three months of 2024.

The airport experienced a positive trend in passenger traffic this March, handling over 509,000 passengers. This represents an 11% increase compared to March 2023.

Direct Flights Exceed Pre-Pandemic Levels

Direct passenger numbers grew by 9% year-over-year, surpassing 410,000 and exceeding pre-pandemic levels by 4%. This signifies a strong recovery in point-to-point travel through Riga.

Riga Airport also witnessed a 16% increase in transit passengers compared to March 2023, reaching 99,300 travelers. This translates to 19% of all passengers in March utilizing Riga as a transfer point, up from 17% the previous year.

An airBaltic aircraft on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: airBaltic

Overall Flight Activity Up

The airport facilitated 4,677 flights in March 2024, encompassing passenger, cargo, technical, business, and other categories. This represents a 3% increase from March 2023.

National carrier airBaltic dominated passenger traffic, transporting over 282,000 passengers, which translates to 55% of the total. Following closely behind was budget airline Ryanair with 133,000 passengers, accounting for 26%.

Strong Start to 2024

The positive trend extends beyond March. Since the beginning of 2024, Riga Airport has served over 1.3 million passengers.

Notably, 1.06 million passengers traveled on direct flights, matching pre-pandemic levels for the same period. Additionally, 263,000 passengers used Riga as a connecting hub.

Cargo on the Rise

Riga Airport also saw a rise in air cargo movement. In March, the airport handled 1,481 tonnes of cargo, bringing the year-to-date total to 3,970 tonnes.

 airBaltic emerged as the leading cargo carrier, followed by European Air Transport, FedEx, and Finnair.

Looking Ahead: Summer 2024

During this summer season, a total of 105 direct flight destinations will be available from Riga Airport. Several new flight routes to popular holiday destinations in southern Europe are expected; connectivity with the Balkan region will increase.

With the beginning of the summer season, Riga Airport will become a base airport for Norwegian, while flydubai will supplement the range of airlines operating at the RIX Riga Airport in autumn.

Kārlis Dambrāns from Latvia, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The largest range of novelties for summer flights from Riga is offered by the national airline airBaltic, which will launch flights to Ljubljana at the end of April. The carrier will add Tirana, Sofia, Skopje, Chisinau and Pristina in the first week of May.

With the opening of the base, Norwegian will expand its network of direct flight routes from Riga Airport. In addition to the already popular flights to Oslo, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Trondheim, the airline will offer direct flights to the leisure destinations of Tivat and Corfu.

British Airways, after a successful winter, will continue flights between Riga and Heathrow Airport in London in the summer as well.

Riga Airport: A Growing Hub

Riga Airport continues to solidify its position as a vital air traffic hub in Northern Europe. The airport connects the Baltic nations with key European business centers and popular holiday destinations.

Recognizing its role in Latvia’s national economy, Riga Airport prioritizes sustainable practices in its services and infrastructure.

This commitment extends to employee well-being, environmental responsibility, and aligning with local communities.

As part of this dedication, Riga Airport has joined the Net Zero 2050 initiative, demonstrating its commitment to achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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