A reconstruction of the runway of Vilnius Airport that lasted for 35 summer days did not impede the Lithuanian Airports to reach a new record in 2017. Last year, three airports of the country serviced more than 5.2 million passengers in total, whereas the number of flights exceeded 55 thousand. Kaunas Airport that temporarily performed the main function of the country’s airport gates especially distinguished for great growth indicators.
According to Donatas Voveris, executive director at Lithuanian airports, last year became another year of record growth. The number of passengers serviced at airports of Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga increased by one tenth and of the flights – by 5 percent, as compared with 2016.
“The number of passengers serviced at Kaunas Airport increased by as many as 60 percent, up to nearly 1.2 million. Moreover, the number of flights rose by as many as 54 percent, i.e., up to 12 thousand within a year. Such impressive results were determined by the reconstruction of the Vilnius Airport runway during which no aviation activity was carried out at the country’s airport gates for 35 days and the majority of flights were shifted to Kaunas.
The growth was also maintained by Palanga Airport where the number of passengers increased by one third, whereas the flow of flights increased by 13 percent,” stated Mr. Voveris.
The number of passengers at the biggest in the country Vilnius Airport declined by 1 percent in 2017, up to more than 3.7 million, whereas the flow of flights – by 5 percent and reached nearly 40 thousand. This is a considerably smaller negative change than planned before the reconstruction of the runway after which the Vilnius Airport started to demonstrate especially fast growth each month.
According to Mr. Voveris, one of the reasons of especially good results of Lithuanian Airports is an increased range of flight directions.
Last year, 11 new routes were offered: from Vilnius planes started flying to Gdansk, Grenoble, Munich, Nuremberg, Cologne, Agadir, Gothenburg, and Paris Charles-de-Gaulle Airport, from Kaunas – to Naples, from Palanga – to Glasgow and Saint Petersburg.
The most popular countries which passengers serviced at Lithuanian airports travelled to in 2017 remained the same as last year: 19 percent of passengers flew either to or from the United Kingdom, 9 percent – to Germany, and 7 percent chose Norway.
“The majority of passengers serviced last year chose London Luton Airport, followed by Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London Stansted Airport, and Riga. These directions have been chosen by the majority of travellers for several years in a row,” noted Mr. Voveris.
Having expressed his satisfaction with the record-breaking year 2017, the Executive Director of Lithuanian Airports added that the company is planning to maintain consistent growth this year as well. Based on forecasts it is expected that the number of passengers serviced at three airports of the country in 2018 will be close to a limit of 6 million, whereas the number of flights will exceed 60 thousand.
About Lithuanian Airports
The Lithuanian airport network includes three airports in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Palanga. During 2017, they serviced 5.2 million passengers and 55 thousand flights. During the winter season, 17 airlines organize flights in 65 directions to 56 cities in 26 countries. Based on data of the Airports Council International (ACI Europe), Lithuanian Airports contribute to the Lithuania’s GDP by 2.5 percent.
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