Travellers from the UAE can fly direct to the Latvian capital Riga from next week with the launch of a new airBaltic route in partnership with Etihad Airways. It is the only direct connection between the UAE and Latvian capital. The six-hour direct flights will launch on October 30th, leaving Abu Dhabi at 9.45am and departing Riga at 23.35pm on the return. Economy fares currently cost from Dh3,510 return including taxes and are bookable either with Etihad or airBaltic, a state-owned Latvian carrier whose main hub is Riga and with further bases in neighbouring Tallin and Vilnius, the capital cities of Estonia and Lithuania.
Last year connections between the UAE and Latvia were strengthened when the UAE became the first Arab country to open an embassy in the Baltic region.
Riga, a port town with access to the Baltic Sea, was founded in 1201 and was a major centre of the Hanseatic League, a medieval commercial and defensive confederation, and derived much of its prosperity from trade with central and eastern Europe between the 13th and 15th centuries. Its well-preserved historic centre has been recognised by Unesco on account of its historic architecture, including what it calls "the finest collection of Art Nouveau buildings in Europe."