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Riga among fastest growing airports in Europe

RIX is seeing 20% more passengers this year, as the Baltic region as a whole is witnessing a traffic boom.

With a passenger growth rate of 16.3%, Riga International Airport was one of the five fastest growing airports in Europe in April in the five-to-ten million passenger segment, according to the latest Airport Council International traffic report.

The Latvian hub ranked fifth in the segment, behind Naples, Seville, Krakow and Valencia.

Riga is also the fourth fastest growing airport in a European capital and one of 11 capital airports in which passenger numbers increased by a two-digit figure during the month.

The rise in the number of passengers continued into May, when the airport handled 636,000 passengers, an increase of 20.5% compared to May last year. In total, Riga, which has the airport code RIX, has seen 2.56 million passengers so far in 2018 up 19% compared to the same period the year before.

The number of transit passengers during the first five months increased by 19.2%, reaching 28% of the total number of passengers. The most popular destinations from RIX are London, Moscow and Helsinki.

Faster in the Baltics
“The growth of Riga International Airport has been significantly faster than in Europe, where the average increase in the number of passengers in the group of airports with five to ten million handled passengers in April amounted to 6.4%, and the average in European airports in general was only 5%”, Ilona Līce, the airport’s board chairman noted.

“ACI data suggest that aviation in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia is experiencing the fastest growth in Europe. The fastest growing capital airports also include our Baltic neighbours Tallinn and Vilnius, as well as Warsaw, Helsinki, Bratislava, Budapest and Ljubljana.”

The number of passengers in the Baltic states’ airports rose 17.2% during the period, reaching 5.9 million passengers.

Cargo volumes at RIX during the first five months of 2018 increased by 45.2% year-on-year. The airport now handles more than half of the total amount of cargo transhipped in the Baltic countries.

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