airBaltic looks forward to a new Baltic Cargo Hub at RIX

Latvian airline airBaltic and Riga Airport already signed the land reservation agreement for the construction of a new Baltic Cargo Hub at the airport, back in 2021. Now, the airline has finally announced the construction kick-off for what is planned open as the Baltics’ largest dedicated air cargo handling center in 12 months’ from now, cementing Riga Airport’s position as a leading air cargo hub. Alongside sustainable, BREEAM certified construction and state-of-the-art facilities such as semi-automatic cargo handling equipment (Material Handling System), a mail sorter, full special cargo handling capabilities including temperature-controlled rooms for pharmaceuticals and perishables, and dedicated dangerous goods, live animals and valuable shipment areas, the building will also have direct access to the apron for fast and efficient cargo import, export, and transit processes. Food and Veterinary Services and a Customs checkpoint will also be nearby. Measuring 6 895 m² in total, the hub is split into 5 000 m² of cargo handling facilities, and roughly 2 000 m² for office spaces.

The best things come to those who wait. Image: Riga Airport

Kaspars Briškens, Minister of Transport of the Republic of Latvia, proclaimed: “The Baltic Cargo Hub marks an important milestone for Latvia’s aviation sector, strengthening our position on the regional airfreight and logistics map. This state-of-the-art facility not only exemplifies our commitment to enhancing Latvia’s logistics capabilities but also reinforces our strategic vision of leveraging aviation as a catalyst for economic growth and international trade.

Martin Gauss, President and CEO of airBaltic, detailed: “In 2023, airBaltic delivered over 9 400 tons of cargo and mail, maintaining its status as the largest air cargo and mail carrier at RIX Riga Airport to date. However, our existing cargo hangar, fundamental for our operations, will soon be replaced by the Rail Baltica railway track. The upcoming Baltic Cargo Hub will significantly increase our handling capacity at Riga hub, allowing to handle up to 45 000 tons of cargo annually.

Laila Odiņa, Chairperson of the Board of RIX Riga Airport, pointed out: “Our national airline, airBaltic, is currently the largest aviation cargo and mail carrier at Riga Airport. We are confident that the new cargo handling center will optimize and enhance cargo service processes, providing additional benefits to both the airline and its customers.”

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