airBaltic Airbus A220-300. Photo: Daniel Sanders/Airways

MIAMI – In Summer 2021, airBaltic (BT) expects to operate about 65 routes from Riga International Airport (RIX) and launch five routes to the UK, Russia, Norway and Armenia.

The flight offering is set to start on March 28. BT also plans to resume flights to 17 other routes that were not operative during Summer 2020 due to the imposed travel restrictions. The airline had already announced a few new destinations for 2021, which will remain on the airline’s plans.

Regarding Summer 2021 schedule, BT CEO Martin Gauss believes that passenger demand will grow in the coming months “once reliable solutions to limit the spread of Covid-19 are introduced.” These include vaccines and wider testing. He added that although flying will “surely be different,” BT expects that more travel options will be available.

airBaltic Airbus A220-300. Photo: Anna Zvereva.

A 88% Drop in Demand during November

In November, BT carried around 43,100 passengers, which is 88% less than the those carried in November 2019. Additionally, numbers show a decrease of 77% in flights; the airline flew 4.500 flights in November 2019 vs 1,000 flights last month.

Of its total European existing network as of November 2019, the Latvian-based carrier operated 61 routes. In 2020, BT was ready to increase its operations, but instead it has only flown 38 routes.

On a positive note, last month’s report shows a good performance regarding BT’s 15-minute punctuality indicator. The airline went from 89.62% to 97.15% throughout the year.

Despite BT having 23 less routes this year, the 2021 schedule plan increases the carrier’s overall routes if the COVID-19 vaccine has been distributed by then.

Featured photo: air Baltic Airbus A220-300. Photo: Daniel Sanders.