In order to further expand the geography of flights from Lithuania, for the fifth time Lithuanian Airports is inviting airlines to fly passengers from Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga airports to new destinations considered to be of particular importance for the growth of the country’s economy, promotion of inbound tourism and enhancement of international business relations. Airlines that will offer such routes will be granted financial support of EUR 200 000 from the Route Development Fund. Airlines are invited to submit their applications by 27th October of this year.
According to CEO of Lithuanian Airports Gediminas Almantas, state support for new flight destinations improves connection to cities of the world that are important for our country, thus not only opening up new opportunities for tourists and entrepreneurs, but also giving an impetus for economic growth.
“The list of desirable routes subject to support was drawn up taking into consideration new flight destinations, the creation of which, or the existing destinations, the increase of the frequency of which, is most necessary at this time. This is the initial list of proposed destinations with the already formed passenger flows or growing demand. Should airlines offer new destinations that are not on the list, they would also be granted support” - said G. Almantas.
The published call for applications invites airlines to hold flights from Vilnius airport to Tokyo, Lisbon, Cairo, Almaty, Krakow, Tbilisi, Astana, Prague, Athens, Sharjah, New York and other metropolitan cities. A wide spectrum of destinations proposed from Kaunas airports includes Thessaloniki, Warsaw, Zadar, Minsk, Frankfurt, New York, Beijing, Moscow, Stuttgart, Oslo, Chicago and others. Airlines, which will offer flights from Palanga to Billund, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg or Helsinki airports, will also receive support.
Support will be granted not only to carriers which are to fly in new destinations, but also to those, which will hold additional flights to the already existing destinations. The plan is to have additional flights from Vilnius airport to Barcelona, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Moscow, Paris, Rome, St. Petersburg, Brussels, Tel Aviv, London, Vienna, Madrid, Berlin and Milan.
“Three years is the longest period of time for the provision of support to a single air carrier, with the value thereof not exceeding EUR 200 000. Granting larger amounts in support to airlines is impossible due to the limitations established by laws. Air carriers will be able to use the allocated support to cover expenses for setting up in the airport, advertising and marketing the new destination. Granting a larger support or support with more vivid effect to airlines is strictly limited by European Union regulation” - said G. Almantas having emphasized that support for the said new destinations will be provided if several established conditions are met.
Flights to the new destination will have to be held at least twice per week and launched no later than on the 31st of May 2018. The sale of tickets for these destinations must be started no later than on the 6th of November, and the destination cannot be held for less than 3 months from the first flight.
“Even though this year the process of attracting new routes slowed down due to the reconstruction of the runway of Vilnius airport, we are continuously engaged in active cooperation and work with airlines. Passenger flows growing in Lithuania faster than in the entire aviation market is a very motivating factor for airlines to enter our market, and thus we expect to hear great news from them in the nearest future” - said G. Almantas convincingly, also noting that Vilnius airport will offer a few more flight destinations as soon as in the fall and winter of this year.
The geography of flights from Lithuanian airports expanded this year - airplanes started flying to Grenoble, Gothenburg, Munich from Vilnius airport, also returning flights going from here to St. Petersburg and Paris Charles de Gaulle airport; flights from Kaunas to Naples and from Palanga - to Glasgow and St. Petersburg were launched.
In September, more flights going from Vilnius to Warsaw will be held, with “Wizz Air” airlines launching flights going to this destination, while “Ryanair” will start flying to Nuremberg and Cologne from the airport of the capital city as from this winter season.
About Lithuanian Airports
Three air gates in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga belong to the network of Lithuanian Airports. In 2016, they served 4.8 million passengers and 52 000 flights. During the summer season, 17 airlines fly from Lithuanian Airports in 69 directions to 59 cities in 26 European countries. According to the data of the Airports Council International (ACI Europe), Lithuanian Airports contribute about 2.5 percent to Lithuania’s GDP.