In September of this year, Lithuanian Airports have served 326 thousand passengers. That is more than three times as much as it was last year in the first month of autumn (100 thousand passengers), that is, about half of the passenger traffic that was in 2019 before the pandemic began, when, in September, 603 thousand passengers were carried by air.
‘Aviation flows are recovering under the optimistic scenario and we are really happy about that. Compared to the level which was before the pandemic, the passenger traffic has already recovered by 54%. This is in line with the average at European airports. The fact that Palanga Airport has been completely closed for reconstruction, which also reduced the overall passenger traffic throughout the airport network, needs to be taken into consideration in the general context of September this year’, - says Aurimas Stikliūnas, Head of Aviation Services at Lithuanian Airports.
The largest part of passengers (more than 258 thousand) have been served at Vilnius Airport, and nearly 65.7 thousand people have been served in September at Kaunas Airport.
During this period, a significant increase in the supply of flights was also recorded. It is estimated that 30% more flights than a year ago have been served at the country's airgates all together - 3.8 thousand, compared to 2.9 thousand. Kaunas Airport is recovering extremely fast - in September, 777 flights have been served here, which is only 6.5% less than in 2019 when 831 flights have been served.
‘We are observing a quite abrupt recovery, which has accelerated greatly in the third quarter of this year after the unification of requirements for travellers across Europe has begun. The fact that the load on traditional carriers has reached 56% and on low-cost airlines – 67% is also important. This means that we are rapidly approaching the loads of carriers that were before the pandemic - 80-90%”, - says A. Stikliūnas.
The results for the fourth quarter of the year are expected to further improve the annual results because Palanga Airport will start operating again, and, in addition, the number of flight directions will increase, some of them will be completely new.
New routes from the middle of the autumn
Currently, flights from Lithuanian airports are operated in 75 directions, which is 10% more than in September last year. By the end of the year, flights in 19 additional directions are planned to be launched.
Wizz Air flights to Paris from Vilnius Airport have already been resumed, and, by the end of the month, Ryanair will resume flights to Kharkov. Flights from the airport of the country's capital to Tel Aviv, Birmingham, Liverpool, Belfast, Eindhoven and Lviv are also planned to be resumed by the end of the year. New routes to Reykjavik, Yerevan and Bergen also will be organised.
It is planned to launch, by the end of the year, flights from Kaunas Airport in as many as 8 new directions - to Aalborg, Madrid, Malaga, Manchester, Helsinki, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Budapest.
The volume of cargo transported through Lithuanian airports is also growing. In September, 1,779 tons of cargo have been carried by air, which is 4% more than last year and even 16% more than in 2019.
About Lithuanian Airports
The network of Lithuanian Airports includes three air gates in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga. In 2020, 1.8 million passengers and 30 thousand flights were served at Lithuanian Airports.