Author: Janis Vanags
Source: Air Baltic Corporation
In the historic best summer month of July airBaltic achieved 26% increase of Estonian passengers flying via North Hub Riga to/from destinations in the Baltics, Western Europe, Mediterranean region, Middle East and the CIS countries. airBaltic carried 19182 passengers on the Estonian routes during July 2011 compared to 15 265 in July 2010.
One of airBaltic flights to the CIS was operated on the night between September 2 and 3, on the route from Riga to Yerevan, Armenia.
Five days after the flight, the news about it have reached Estonian media through an Estonian Member of the Parliament. The flight BT 726, operated by Boeing 737-500, was scheduled to depart after midnight at 00:30, September 3. While the aircraft was on the ground (before entering the runway), a confused passenger opened an overwing emergency exist by misunderstanding. The crew detected no sign of aggression, and seated the passenger away from the emergency exits. airBaltic’s technical staff inspected the emergency exit thoroughly, and the aircraft was prepared to depart 01:09 Riga time, or 39 minutes later than originally scheduled. The aircraft arrived in Yerevan 6:30, 30 minutes later than scheduled, with 84 passengers and 5 crew onboard. airBaltic apologizes to passengers for inconvenience and changes in their travel plans.
Latvian national airline airBaltic achieved the best month in history and carried 377,914 passengers in July 2011 (from Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn), representing 3% increase comparing with the same month in 2010, when airBaltic transported 367,343 passengers.
AIR BALTIC CORPORATION (airBaltic) is a joint stock company that was established in 1995. The primary shareholders are the Latvian state, with 52.6% of stock, and SIA Baltijas aviācijas sistēmas, with 47.2% of stock. The airBaltic fleet consists of 34 aircraft – six Boeing 737-500, eight Boeing 737-300, two Boeing 757-200, ten Fokker 50 airplanes and eight Bombardier Q400Next Gen. airBaltic offers nonstop flights from three Baltic capital cities – Riga, Vilnius, and Tallinn. airBaltic received the title of Airline of the Year 2009/2010 (Gold Award) from the European Regions Airline Association. airBaltic is the winner of Air Transport World Phoenix Award 2010 – a global recognition of excellence in restructuring business. In summer 2010, airBaltic was chosen for anna.aero ANNIES Award as Europe's largest flag carrier by new routes. airBaltic won a special Pacesetter Award 2010 from the Jury of the Budgies World Low Cost Airline Awards, recognising achievements of airBaltic as a hybrid airline.
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