easyJet expands into Baltic market

British discount airliner easyJet will enter the Baltic market this autumn, commencing flights between Rīga and Schönefeld Airport in Berlin, Germany, on Nov. 18, the company has announced. The move follows a similar announcement in July by its competitor, the Irish discount airline Ryanair.

Tickets will be priced starting at EUR 20.49, easyJet said in a press release. Ryanair earlier had announced introductory pricing starting at GBP 3.99 for flights from Rīga to London, but recently has been promoting one-way tickets for just 45 pence, excluding taxes and other fees.

easyJet also announced it will begin flights between Tallinn, Estonia, and Berlin on Oct. 27, and between Tallinn and Stansted Airport in London on Nov. 1.

The flights bring easyJet’s network to a total of 181 routes, the company said.

“These new services from Riga and Tallinn show how serious we are about expanding in the region,” easyJet Chief Executive Ray Webster said in a prepared statement, “and loyal travellers already used to easyJet’s low fares, excellent service and great punctuality will be delighted to know that this is just the beginning.”

The airline was founded in 1995 by Stelios Haji-Ioannou and, according the easyJet’s Web site, the family remains the major shareholder. easyJet shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange.

Latvia’s national carrier, Air Baltic, also continues expansion. It added a route between Rīga and Cologne, Germany, on Aug. 15. and a route between Rīga and Manchester, England, on Aug. 16, the company announced.

The addition of easyJet will bring to 19 the number of passenger and cargo airlines serving Rīga International Airport.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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