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Aberdeen flights to Riga back on, opening up Baltic region again

One of airBaltic's A220-300 aircraft.
One of airBaltic's A220-300 aircraft.

Flights between Aberdeen and Riga, in Latvia, have taken off again after an enforced break.

The twice-weekly route became operational on May 1, with Latvian carrier airBaltic using one of its new, more environment-friendly, 145-seat A220-300 aircraft.

AirBaltic chief executive Martin Gauss said: “Riga is a dynamic city and the key business centre of the Baltic states.

“We are excited to resume scheduled flights from Aberdeen to Riga as it reopens connections not only to Latvia but also to our wider home region, with Tallinn and Vilnius, as well as many destinations in Scandinavia, CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) and the Middle East.”

20% fewer carbon emissions

Aberdeen International Airport operations director Mark Beveridge said: “It is great to see the restart of our Air Baltic route to Riga.

“The airline will operate the route using one of its A220-300 aircraft, which is not only one of the quietest commercial aircraft but also generates 20% fewer carbon emissions, compared to similar aircraft.”

A complete schedule of airBaltic flights and tickets for the resumed flights are available on airBaltic’s website.

The airline said its new A220-300s were “considerably quieter”, with a four times smaller noise footprint.

It added: “It is the greenest commercial aircraft in the world, as it is the first aircraft to have a transparent declaration of the life-cycle environmental impact, helping to reduce CO2 and NOX (nitrous oxide) emissions by 20% and 50% respectively.”

The summer service between Aberdeen and Riga has had a stop-start history, with Covid-19 knocking it off the roster last year.

AirBaltic started operating the route in the spring of 2014, targeting business passengers and leisure travellers. Riga was becoming increasingly popular as a destination for short breaks.

The first attempt at running the service was short-lived, with the flights becoming a casualty of a review by the airline during 2014.

But Riga’s potential for onward travel throughout Eastern Europe and a growing number of Latvians looking to visit Aberdeen prompted airBaltic to think again and the flights returned in the carrier’s summer schedule for 2017.

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