Norwegian (Oslo Gardermoen) has suspended its plans to open a base at Riga airport until the summer season of 2024, the airline confirmed to Latvian public broadcaster Latvijas Televīzija on May 20.

The budget carrier announced last October that it would open a base in the Baltics ahead of the Summer 2023 season as “kind of a test” to trial growth outside its core markets of the Nordic countries and Spain. But in January it said it had postponed the plan by one year due to challenges with aircraft deliveries from Boeing.

“We had big plans for this season and one of them was to open a base in Riga, but due to delays in the delivery of new aircraft the opening of the base is currently postponed until next year,” Grete Kruse Roald, the airline’s vice president for communications told the television channel.

She underlined, however, that “we see that the Latvian market is showing a good pace of recovery and demand is growing. This market is very important and engaging for us. For example, in April we were the third-largest airline at Riga airport.”

According to the ch-aviation capacities module, Norwegian currently operates two routes to Riga, namely 5x weekly from Oslo Gardermoen and 3x weekly from Trondheim. The carrier also operates routes to Riga using its Norwegian Air Sweden AOC: 6x weekly from Stockholm Arlanda, 5x weekly from Copenhagen Kastrup, and an additional two weekly frequencies from Oslo.

For the coming winter season, the Stockholm and Trondheim routes will be dropped, while frequencies from the Norwegian capital will be reduced to five, and from the Danish capital to two. The decision to drop the flights to Sweden may be revisited, Kruse Roald said. For now, though, Norwegian will be cutting its overall weekly frequencies to the Latvian capital during the winter season from 21 to seven.

Norwegian previously entertained the idea of a Riga base in 2016, for the following year, but did not proceed with the plan. It currently operates bases at Alicante, Barcelona El Prat, Bergen, Helsinki Vantaa, Malaga, Oslo, Stavanger, and Trondheim, ch-aviation fleets data shows.