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airBaltic is not planning on ensuring regular flights to Liepaja at the moment

Latvian national airline airBaltic does not plan to provide regular flights to Liepaja, however, discussions and plans on the possibility of such flights in the future are still topical and on the airline’s agenda, Augusts Zilberts, Head of Public Relations at airBaltic, told LETA.

Commenting on the call of the heads of Liepaja and South Kurzeme municipalities to provide international flights from Liepaja Airport in order to successfully implement the project Liepaja – European Capital of Culture 2027, Zilberts said that this year in July and August airBaltic will provide specially organized or “pop-up” flights from Riga to Liepaja.

He added that the basic idea behind the pop-up flights is to offer separate, specially organized flights to destinations that have the potential for increased periodical demand.

“If the pop-up concept proves its worth in practice, airBaltic has the flexibility in terms of route planning to smoothly schedule and offer more of these types of flights, including possibly to the Liepaja-European Capital of Culture events,” Zilberts said.

He also pointed out that a total of six round trips between Riga and Liepaja are scheduled for this summer and that demand is growing and there is interest, but seats are still available.

“There are some passengers who will use these special Liepaja flights to transit via Riga to other countries. There is also a trend of more demand for one-way flights to Liepaja,” Zilberts informed.

The airBaltic representative noted that the airline is waiting and assessing the overall response to the Liepaja flights, and will thus conclude what the demand for such flights could be.

Commenting on the provision of regular flights to Liepaja Airport, Zilberts said that the Airbus A220-300 aircraft has 145 seats, which would also need to be filled, but also if all the seats were filled, state or municipal support would be required. However, Zilberts did not give a specific amount of subsidies, stating that it was too early to say at this stage, as it mainly depended on the specific situation, including fuel prices.

According to LETA archives, airBaltic suspended direct flights between Riga and Liepaja in October 2020, when, due to travel restrictions, there was little demand for such flights.

Last year, airBaltic carried 4.5 million passengers, 36 percent more than in 2022, and operated more than 44,000 flights, 18 percent more than the year before.

In 2023, airBaltic’s audited turnover was EUR 664.289 million, up 33.2 percent on 2022, and the company made a profit of EUR 33.852 million, compared to a loss the year before.

The Latvian state owns 97.97 percent of airBaltic’s shares, while the financial investor, Danish businessman Lars Thuesen’s Aircraft Leasing 1, owns 2.03 percent.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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