New Route of the Day (27 September 2021): airBaltic between Riga and Dubai
On 27 September, airBaltic became the latest carrier to add service to Dubai, this time from its main base at Riga in Latvia. The 4,320-kilometre route will be served 4-weekly, departing Riga on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The inaugural service (flight number BT 791 operated by an Airbus A220-300, registration YL-CSG) departed Riga at 23:25 and touched down in Dubai five hours and 54 minutes later at 06:19 local time, the following day. The return flight (BT 792) departed the UAE hub at 08:27 on 28 September and landed back in Latvia five hours and 50 minutes later at 13:17 local time, according to flightradar24.com. No other carrier connects these two airports.
Third biggest airBaltic route by ASKs
airBaltic has previously served Abu Dhabi in the UAE during the winter season, most recently from October 2019 to March 2020. However, the EXPO 2020 in Dubai may have influenced the airline to move its UAE operation for this winter. This new Dubai route instantly ranks as airBaltic’s third biggest as measured by ASKs (Available Seat Kilometres), just behind Amsterdam (served 14-weekly) and Tenerife TFS, which is also served 4-weekly and is the airline’s longest route at 4,511 kilometres.
What they said
Martin Gauss, CEO of airBaltic, said: “We are proud to offer our passengers such a unique destination as Dubai, which now connects the Baltic region with the United Arab Emirates with one of the longest flights on our route map. Dubai has been one of the most demanded destinations among our passengers for some time now, and it will be hosting the Expo 2020, which attracts a lot of interest to this city.”
Laila Odiņa, Chairperson of the Board of Riga Airport, said: “Expanding the range of destinations accessible from Riga Airport with Dubai will open new opportunities for our passengers, who will be able to get to the attractive Middle East leisure and business centre faster and more conveniently. At the same time, it is also an important step forward for the airport, continuing to strengthen Riga’s position as an important air transit hub.”
H.E. Mrs Hanan Al Aleeli, Ambassador of the UAE to the Republic of Latvia, said: “I am pleased by the direct flights connectivity between the UAE and Latvia, which will bring new opportunities and closer ties between both countries. Inauguration of this flight coincides with the opening of Expo 2020 in Dubai which will further increase the demand for these convenient and necessary flights and provide new options for cooperation.”