The Latvian airline airBaltic has acquired full ownership of a cargo business at Riga International Airport, Latvia, and will operate it under a new BalticCargo brand.
Bertolt Flick, President and CEO of airBaltic: “Latvia is currently the fastest growing passenger aviation market in the EU. In our view, the cargo market has the potential to grow in a similar fasion, given Riga’s favourable geographic location and the airport’s expanding network of flights.”
Located on the Northeastern edge of the European Union, Riga is the region’s closest airport to China. Riga already has well-established aviation cargo flows to/from Russia and the CIS, Scandinavia, Western Europe, Asia.
BalticCargo offers a full spectrum of cargo handling services of passenger aircraft and freighter aircraft, as well as cargo handling facilities. The company has recently demonstrated a capability of handling large aircraft such as Boeing 747 freighters.
For 2009 airBaltic announced 20 million EUR preliminary profit, and achieved 6% passenger growth to 2.75 million passengers. In 2010, airBaltic will open at least nine new direct routes from Riga, and has so far announced new destinations including Madrid, Belgrade, Vaasa, Umea, Beirut, Amman, Manchester, Rovaniemi and Kuusamo.
AIR BALTIC CORPORATION (airBaltic) is a joint stock company that was established in 1995. The primary shareholders are the Latvian state, with 52.6% of stock, and SIA Baltijas aviācijas sistēmas, with 47.2% of stock. The airBaltic fleet consists of 31 aircraft – ten Boeing 737-500, eight Boeing 737-300, two Boeing 757-200, and eleven Fokker 50 airplanes. airBaltic offers nonstop flights from three Baltic capital cities – Riga, Vilnius, and Tallinn. airBaltic received the title of Airline of the Year 2009/2010 (Gold Award) from the European Regions Airline Association. airBaltic is the winner of Air Transport World Phoenix Award 2010 – a global recognition of excellence in restructuring business.