The year 2016 was the record year for Lithuanian Airports: 4.8 million passengers were served and the number of flights reached 52 thousand. The greatest increase was demonstrated by Palanga Airport where the number of passengers has surged by 60 per cent and reached 233 thousand.
The CEO of Lithuanian Airports Gediminas Almantas was pleased that last year was the best year for Lithuanian Airports throughout the operation of the enterprise. As compared with the year 2015, last year the number of passengers has increased by 13 per cent and reached 4.8 million. The number of flights has increased by 5 per cent, i.e. in 2016, a total of 52 thousand flights were served.
“Last year the best results were demonstrated by Palanga Airport. The achievements of this airport have also been evaluated by the Airports Council International (ACI Europe) which has, on several occasions, identified Palanga Airport as the most rapidly growing airport in the category of “small” airports.
Last year Kaunas Airport maintained its stability, however this year the airport will attract major attention. In summer we will implement one of our major projects – Vilnius Airport runway reconstruction, during which most of the flights will be directed to Kaunas Airport,” said Mr. Almantas.
According to the CEO of Lithuanian Airports, the continuously improving results were influenced by attraction of new flights through the Route Development Fund. The air carriers seeking to launch new routes or increase the frequency of the flights which are already operated were invited to submit their applications for de minimis aid. The total amount allocated for the aid was equal to 800 thousand EUR, and was allocated to the following airline companies: Belavia, Adria Airways, Ukraine International Airlines, Ryanair, Turkish Airlines.
The activities of the Route Development Fund will be continued this year; Lithuanian Airports is planning to publish a new call for applications this month.
Palanga Airport has stood out from other airports
In 2016, Vilnius Airport exceeded the expectations and in total served 3.8 million passengers, i.e. 14 percent more than in 2015.
Last year the number of flights in the main national air gateway increased by 5 per cent. Passengers could travel from Vilnius in 62 directions including 9 directions which were introduced last year, namely, to Bari, Berlin Schönefeld Airport, Birmingham, Zürich, Leeds, Lviv, Malta, Nice and Reykjavik. It is planned that in 2017 the number of new directions will also increase, new scheduled flights to Gothenburg, Grenoble, Munich and the main Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport will be organised.
Last year Palanga Airport which is referred to as the “small airport” of Lithuanian Airports showed excellent results. As compared with the year 2015, the number of passengers has increased by 60 per cent and was equal to 233 thousand. In 2016, different airline companies started operating flights from Palanga Airport to Kiev, London Luton Airport and London Stansted Airport, Minsk and Warsaw. Last year, the total number of flights operated by the coastal airport was 3.9 thousand, i.e. 17 per cent more than in 2015.
In 2016, the number of passengers at Kaunas Airport remained stable, i.e. 741 thousand passengers were served. The number of flights increased by 2 per cent and was equal to 7.6 thousand. One more low-cost airline company started operating in the airport, four new directions, i.e. Stavanger, Eindhoven, Ålesund, Bergen, emerged. As of 2017 Naples can also be directly reached from Kaunas Airport.
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