airBaltic deepens presence in Finnish market

Airline with more than 80 routes entices Finns to fly via Riga

airBaltic, the fast-growing Latvian airline that has made an impact on the Finnish aviation market over the last year, has said that it will be reaching further into Scandinavia this coming summer season.
It will increase the number of frequencies on its direct routes Riga-Lappeenranta, Riga-Vaasa and Vaasa-Umea. This, the airline, says, will offer improved transit connections for passengers travelling via Riga to and from destinations in Western Europe, the CIS and the Mediterranean region.
“New frequencies to Sweden and Finland have been requested by Latvian and Baltic businesses and private customers,” Tero Taskila, a Finnish national who became airBaltic’s chief commercial officer in 2009, explained.
“These markets have seen significant increases in passenger numbers driven by our convenient schedule and everyday low prices.”
airBaltic describes itself as a “hybrid” airline, combining a network carrier product with the low-cost business model. With 80 destinations and 100 routes available at the peak of the summer season, it carried more than 3 million passengers in 2010.
The carrier will double its flights between Riga and Lappeenranta from March 27, making 14 direct flights a week. Frequencies between Riga and Vaasa and between Vaasa and Umea will increase to seven a week.
airBaltic operates flights to and from 10 airports in Finland – Helsinki, Oulu, Lappeenranta, Turku, Tampere, Vaasa, Kuusamo, Kuopio, Rovaniemi and Kittila.
Earlier this month, the airline announced that it would be intensifying its cooperation with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, including codesharing of flights between Riga and Amsterdam.
Baltic Course
[pictured: airBaltic Bombardier Q400 NextGen]