The number of airBaltic passengers travelling from Vilnius and Tallinn to Riga and on to final destinations in Europe and Asia has increased several times over during the early part of this year.
The most popular route in terms of passenger numbers in Jan-09 was from Vilnius to Riga, and that can be attributed to an increasing number of Lithuanian transit passengers. 12,922 passengers flew that route in January – nearly five times more than in Jan-08, when only 2,293 passengers were transported. The Vilnius-Riga route beat Riga-Berlin and Riga-Copenhagen to become the most popular route in Jan-09.
9,186 passengers travelled from Tallinn to Riga in Jan-09 - an increase of more than 2.5 times in comparison to the 3,520 who flew that route in Jan-08. There are fewer competitors at the Tallinn airport now - Estonian Air has announced a reduction in flight numbers, while KLM has announced plans to stop flying along the Amsterdam-Tallinn route as of May 4 of this year. airBaltic believes that there will be a continued increase in the number of Tallinn-Riga passengers.
Thanks to transit services, airBaltic has also increased its overall passenger numbers. In Jan-09, the Latvian airline carried 156,688 passengers on flights from the Riga airport. The number of transit passengers passing through the Riga airport has nearly sextupled in comparison to the same period last year – 74,324 transit passengers this year, but just 13,149 in 2008.