RAF-AVIA is passenger and cargo airline that was established in 1990. Based in Riga it is the biggest and one of the oldest freight and passenger carrier in the Baltics operating regular and ad hoc charter flights in the region and all over Europe.
Apart from freight and passenger transportation RAF-AVIA is fully certified aircraft maintenance and repair organization. We provide Line and Base Maintenance not only for our own Saab340 and AN26 but for other operators as well.
During more than twenty years of operation we have learnt all the ropes of the trade and from the many peculiarities of the aviation business our key learning is very straightforward: to be there for our clients when they need us, where they need us and with the aircraft that suits their needs best.
HISTORY OF RAF-AVIA
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On 31st October, 1990 – Director of Rīgas Autobusu Fabrika (RAF), a minibus assembly plant in Jelgava, signed the Order Nr. 990. It laid foundation for the establishment of RAF-AVIA, an air freight unit of the Factory. Its objective was to supply spears and parts for the minibus production from all over the then vast USSR.
On 31st May, 1991 the first AN-26 was delivered from Kiev to Riga Airport where RAF-AVIA was based since its inception. Two months later on 19th August, 1991 the inaugural flight Riga-Nizhnij Novgorod-Riga took place.
Soon two more AN-26 joined RAF-AVIA’s fleet.
In December, 1994 RAF-AVIA unit was transformed into a joint-stock company with the Latvian State as one of the shareholders. The transformation followed general reorganization of the minibus factory into three independent joint-stock companies: RAF Assembly Line in Jelgava, ITC – Technical Engineering Centre in Riga and RAF-AVIA Airlines.
Commercial flights for other clients started to play a greater role in the airline’s operations.
In November, 1999 the privatization process that had begun in 1996 was completed: The Latvian State sold its shares and RAF-AVIA became a privately-owned joint-stock company.
As early as in 1998 RAF-AVIA already operated four AN-26 aircraft. Two years later a bigger aircraft AN-74 joined the fleet.
In 2005 and 2006 RAF-AVIA diversified its fleet by adding two SAAB 340 aircraft in a cargo modification. That laid basis for upgrading the company’s maintenance facilities and resulted in being certified to perform C-Checks not only for RAF-AVIA’s own SAABs, but for those of other airlines as well.
In 2015 we decided to extend our operations to passenger carriage being based on our cargo transportation experience. Couple months later first flight with our passenger Saab340B aircraft was in the sky.
Today RAF-AVIA operates four AN26, SAAB340A for cargo flights and SAAB340B for passenger flights. Taking full advantage of the EU’s Free Sky policy the airline flies all over Europe – from Scandinavia to Southern Europe as well as to Northern Africa and the Middle East.
CELEBRATING 25 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
RAF-AVIA celebrated its 25th Anniversary in October, 2015 which we believe is a remarkable milestone in today’s aviation industry.
We have come a long way from being the carrier for a single manufacturer and first non-governmental airline in the former Soviet Union to a well-established cargo airline operating all over Europe and beyond. We have lived through political and economic turmoil constantly adapting ourselves to ever changing market situation and striving to deliver the best possible service to our customers.
None of that would have been possible without our people. We take a great pride in resilience, openness and flexibility of our staff who have won trust of many long-time partners and recognition of the market.
Loyalty and experience are values that we appreciate most. One fourth of our 100 employees are here for more than 10 years and what makes us particularly proud are those 15 people who have worked for RAF-AVIA for more than 20 years. Some of them since the very inception of the airline.
The 25th Anniversary has coincided with a time of transformation at our company. The new owners have laid out a comprehensive plan of RAF-AVIA’s development. It includes not only improvements in existing services and implementation of new ones but goes as far as introduction of new type of aircraft and working in market segments that were not available to us before. From now on our approach will be not only to adapt to the constantly changing market situation but also to anticipate change and be ready when it happens.
With all that and much more in our arsenal we feel confident that our progress during the years to come will be faster and our success greater than in the past.
COUNTING AIRWORTHINESS MANAGER
GROUND OPERATIONS MANAGER
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26A Vienibas gatve, Riga
LV 1004, Latvia
T: (+371) 673 24 661
F: (+371) 673 24 671
International airport "Riga"
T: (+371) 67 668 318
F: (+371) 67 207 970
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