SmartLynx Airlines was founded as Latcharter Airlines in 1992 by four professional pilots and one experienced engineer. The company commenced operations with two leased TU-134B aircraft serving both leisure and ad hoc charter markets. It was the first airline to carry out package holidays from Riga and was well equipped to provide for sports, event, concert, governmental, military and executive charter flights. In line with the growth of the leisure market, by 1996 the airline had become the second largest local carrier, and in ownership of the fleet.
In 2000 Latcharter added two YAK-42D aircraft to the fleet and fully introduced JAR requirements. By then it served 9 holiday destinations on regular basis. In addition to the established business areas, the airline began wet lease, having Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as its first Lessee.
Maintaining a stable growth and keeping up with fleet modernization, Latcharter introduced A320-200 in 2003 and gradually ousted the Soviet-built aircraft, retiring TU-134B by 2004 and YAK-42D by 2006. It added a second A320-200 to its fleet.