airBaltic to build new Cargo Hub at Riga Airport in Latvia
airBaltic and Riga Airport have signed a land reservation agreement where a new Baltic Cargo hub will be built. Once completed, the new cargo hangar will be the largest dedicated air cargo handling facility in the Baltics.
On Thursday (April 22, 2021) airBaltic announced that they have signed a land reservation agreement with Riga Airport to build a new Baltic Cargo Hub. The new facility will be the largest dedicated cargo handling facility in the Baltics. airBaltic was the winner of a tender for the leasing of the land and construction of a multimodal logistics center issued by Riga Airport in November 2020. Construction on the 6,000 square meter facility is planned to begin in 2022, with completion expected by early 2024. The project will be bank financed and operated by airBaltic’s Baltijas Kravu Centrs SIA cargo handling subsidiary.
In Thursday’s announcement, airBaltic’s Chief Executive Officer, Martin Gauss, said,
“For years airBaltic Cargo has provided essential mail and cargo shipments to and from Latvia, using the existing hangar. However, the hangar will be demolished to make room for the Rail Baltica track. The new Baltic Cargo Hub will enable the company to handle more than 30,000 tonnes of cargo each year.”
Also commenting on the new cargo facility, Riga Airport’s Chairperson of the Board, Laila Odina, added,
“I am pleased that we will be able to work with the national airline in the development of the Airport's air cargo centre RIX Cargo City. The volume of belly cargo forms a significant part of cargo carriage at Riga Airport, and airBaltic is the largest carrier of this type of cargo. The construction of a new cargo handling centre will help increase the volume of cargo handled at Riga Airport and will benefit both the Airport and airBaltic.”
Established in 1995, Air Baltic Corporation SA (airBaltic) is a joint stock company with most of the equity (96.14%) held by the Latvian state and the remaining shares held by Lars Thuesen through his holding company Aircraft Leasing 1 SIA. The airline Group also includes Air Baltic Training SIA, Loyalty Services SIA, Baltijas Kravu Centrs SIA and Crew Resources AS. One of the most punctual carriers in the world, the airline connects the Baltic region to over 70 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and the CIS with a fleet of 25 Airbus A220-300s.