In the summer of the year 2011 the access by air to Lithuania will be the most significant over the 21 years of Independence. It is planned that all the three international airports of Lithuania - Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga - will provide more passenger seats than in the best – ‘pre-crisis‘ year 2008.
Last Sunday Vilnius International Airport (VIA) introduced a new timetable of regular flights for the summer season. Vilnius Airport starts the summer season by introducing new destinations and airlines which are to begin to operate flights to/from Vilnius. It is estimated that these airlines should attract around half a million passengers to Vilnius.
The greatest news this summer season in Vilnius Airport is the arrival of two low cost airlines Wizz Air and Ryanair. As of 17 April Wizz Air will start to operate flights to London, Cork, Doncaster, Eindhoven, Milan, Rome, Barcelona and Stockholm, while Ryanair will start its activities on 2 May and will offer flights to the following destinations: Bremen, Dublin, Girona, London (Stansted), Milan and Rome.
The old-timer of Vilnius Airport, Estonian Air, has expanded its destination map by offering flights not only to Tallinn, Amsterdam and Stockholm (Arlanda) but also to Berlin as of 1 May.
“In the summer of 2011 it will become as easy to reach Lithuania by air as never before throughout its period of independence. As compared to all three Lithuanian airports, Vilnius Airport will offer the largest number of seats since 2008 – the best year before the recession. In July the number of seats in regular flights from Vilnius Airport will reach the level of 2008 and will make up around 200 thousand. A greater increase in supply was hindered by the shrinking market of charter flights in the last three years”, Director of VIA Commerce Department Simonas Bartkus comments on the expectations of the new season.
According to Mr Bartkus, this summer none of the 15 airlines operating in Vilnius Airport will have a dominant position which will allow the Airport to distribute the risk and the competition among the airlines will be of great benefit to passengers. According to the number of passenger seats offered, this summer the leading position will be held by airBaltic which is to offer around 35 thousand seats per month.
Ryanair and Wizz Air will lag slightly behind it by offering over 30 thousand seats per month each.
The number of seats offered by three trademarks of the Lufthansa Group – Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines – will make up over 25 thousand.
VIA is planning to service 1.8 million passengers this year.
Whereas the record will be reached according to the general amount of passenger seats with destination to all the three Lithuania‘s international airports – Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga, the total amount of 330 thousand passenger seats will be provided in this summer.
The new timetable will be valid until 30 October 2011.
The flight timetable is available here: http://vno.lt/en/flight-information/flight-timetable/