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One Additional Support Package for Development of Direct Flights from Lithuania

The airlines willing to develop their routes of regular direct flights from Lithuania may be eligible for the new support package from the Route Development Fund. According to the call for tenders published by Lithuanian Airports, the air carriers are entitled to submit their tenders for launching of new routes in the directions relevant to the Lithuanian population or increasing the frequency of flights on the existing routes till 23 October 2016.

‘Allocated funds offer double return, i.e. improve the links of the Lithuanian population with foreign countries and tourists promote the national economy. The airlines willing to offer new routes will have to launch them till June of the following year and transport passengers at least twice per week. Besides, the airline will undertake to maintain the route at least for three months,’ said the CEO of Lithuanian Airports Gediminas Almantas.

The aim is to launch new routes in the directions important to Lithuania which have been identified taking account of the recommendations of the Economic Diplomacy Council, the State Department of Tourism and the agency Invest Lithuania. The published call for tenders lists more than 40 directions of the flights relevant to Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga airports the development of which could be supported.

The destinations for which the companies that could operate flights from Vilnius are sought include Beijing, Dubai, Munich, Port, Tbilisi and other 25 directions to the metropolitan cities in Europe and in the world. Carriers for 21 destinations from Kaunas airport, for example, Beijing, Minsk, Moscow, Oslo, etc., and carriers for 5 destinations from Palanga to Billund, Dublin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Helsinki and Saint Petersburg are sought. Furthermore, the carriers increasing the frequency of flights on relevant routes are eligible for support.

Up to EUR 200,000 of support for reimbursement of costs may be allocated for one carrier per three years. The funds may be spent by the airlines for marketing and advertising costs in introduction and advertising of a new route or additional frequency of flights on the existing route; costs of establishment incurred by the airline as a result of launching a new route or increasing the frequency of flights on the existing route and other closely related costs.

The investments of the Route Development Fund are aimed at increasing the accessibility of the country by direct flights, in particular, in the directions necessary for the Lithuanian economic growth, development of business relations and international projects and promotion of inbound tourism of Lithuania. At the end of 2015, slightly more than EUR 1 million was allocated to eight airlines from the fund. Promotion of route development is based on the good practice of the Western and Northern European countries.