As of the beginning of May, the Latvian national airline airBaltic has gone over to the planned 2002 summer flight schedule and has supplemented this with new flights.
This spring, in addition to the destinations Stockholm, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Kiev, Vilnius and Tallinn, airBaltic introduced three new destinations: Moscow - for businesspeople; Vienna and Berlin - for tourists.
The launch of the Vienna flights on April 3 was followed by lengthy and difficult negotiations with the Austrians on coordination of flight schedules. Agreement was finally reached and, as of May, flights will be fairly distributed among the two airlines - as anticipated in the international agreement: airBaltic will be flying to Vienna three instead of two times a week - on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays; Austrian Airlines will be flying four times a week. Passengers have shown tremendous interest in the new route, and ticket reservations exceed airBaltic forecasts.
The official permit for flights to Moscow was received in due time from the Russian Civil Aviation Administration, and the first flight to Moscow could take place as planned on April 23. Currently, airBaltic is planning to open representative office in Moscow.
The first flight to Berlin took place on May 1. This route, like the Riga-Vienna route, is intended primarily for tourist travel to and from Riga. The rates for Berlin and Vienna are very reasonable and people are taking advantage of such an opportunity. At the moment, the number of reservations on these routes is significantly higher than expected, especially on the Riga-Berlin route. In view of the great demand for tickets, in June airBaltic will add a fourth weekly flight to Berlin. This will make it possible to fly to the capital of Germany on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.