A Good Year: airBaltic Sees a 21% Increase In Passengers

airBaltic today proudly shared details of a promising trend in passenger activity last year. In 2021, the flag carrier of Latvia served over 1.62 million passengers, which is a 21% increase from the 1.34 million customers flown in 2020.

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Like most airlines in Europe, flight restrictions rocked airBaltic’s operations, but the company will be motivated by last year’s rise. Photo: Getty Images

The right direction

In March 2020, airBaltic suspended all flights due to the rise of the pandemic. The carrier slowly began resuming operations later on in the year, but the health crisis continued to take its toll on operations. During this period, the company secured considerable investments from the Latvian government to help out with the challenges.

During the passenger downtime that was essentially caused by ongoing travel restrictions within airBaltic’s network, the Riga International Airport-based operator flew a total of 1,340,900 passengers during the whole of 2020, which is 287,100 fewer than the 1,628,000 carried in 2021.

Customer activity saw a significant shift last year. For instance, the company recorded over 6.5 million A220 passengers since the type’s launch five years earlier. Moreover, the firm reported that November passenger numbers were up 265% compared to the same month in 2020.

The promising pattern continued into December with a 228% increase compared with 2020. Photo: Getty Images

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Notable initiatives

airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss highlighted that his company concentrated on offering efficient connectivity through the Baltic area. As a result, the airline added valuable leisure and business destinations across its route map.

Impressively, the likes of Dubai and Tenerife saw new flight launches. These services have been in high demand since launching, and the carrier is determined to continue the momentum early this year amid the opening of a new base in Tampere, Finland.

“Connectivity is at the core of what we do and it makes a crucial contribution to the Latvian economy. A large part of our passengers have entered Latvia for transit purposes, but for an even larger number of tourists Latvia has been the main destination,” Gauss shared in a statement.

“This has significantly helped to improve Latvia’s economic growth and recovery in sectors such as catering or hospitality. airBaltic has always grown together with people in the Baltic states and we strive to contribute to the society as much as possible.”

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The airline reported a 5% increase in the number of flights in 2021. Photo: Getty Images

Looking forward

2021 also saw airBaltic increase its percentages in other crucial fields. The company boosted its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) usage by 20% last year in an effort to become one of Europe’s most sustainable carriers. The airline is evidently looking ahead in the industry as customer demand returns.

Altogether, the number of passengers flown is still a long way off from the 2019 record of five million. However, at least operations are on the right track. airBaltic will be hoping that the impact of new variants won’t hinder the growth and that the 2022’s passenger figures will be even greater than last year.

What are your thoughts about airBaltic’s passenger numbers for 2021? What do you make of the progress that the airline has made? Let us know what you think of the carrier and its operations in the comment section.