Passenger flows that increased by a double digit as well as new flights and the most impressive pace of activities throughout the region of the Baltic Sea last year. These are the results achieved by Lithuanian Airports, whose successful growth was noticed by the UK newspaper “The Daily Telegraph”.
The spurt in Palanga was noticed by the British as well
“In January, the number of passengers handled by Lithuanian Airports, compared to the same period last year, increased by as many as 18.9 per cent, while the number of flights themselves increased by almost 13 per cent. And although all airports in the country showed an increase in passengers and flights, Palanga’s achievement was the most impressive. The number of people who departed from Palanga during the previous month increased by as many as 81 per cent in comparison with January,” said Gediminas Almantas, the CEO at Lithuanian Airports.
G. Almantas noted that Palanga Airport has been showing constantly increasing numbers of passengers for over a year; however, during the recent months this airport has been breaking growth records.
Palanga Airport showed very good results last year as well and was included in the top-five fastest-growing European airports published by the British newspaper “The Daily Telegraph” according to the data of Airports Council International Europe (ACI Europe). Palanga Airport was overtaken by the airports in the Romanian cities Oradea and Iași, Bucharest, and Ostend in Belgium, where passenger increase amounted to 60 per cent.
At European level, Palanga was not the only one that showed great results in the network of Lithuanian Airports. According to the overall increase of the number of passengers, Lithuania is the leader in the region of the Baltic Sea. The number of aeroplane passengers in Lithuania increased by more than 13 per cent in 2016, while in Latvia this indicator amounted to only 4.6 per cent, and in Estonia it was 2.5 per cent.
In the Nordic countries, the market of passengers who chose air transport increased from 1.5 per cent in Norway to 8.8 per cent in Denmark.
London is still the leader
This January, most passengers from all three Lithuanian airports chose flights to London. Over 65,000 people in total travelled to Luton Airport or Stansted Airport or returned from them to Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga.
The second most popular flight destination was Copenhagen, which was chosen by more than 23,000 travellers, while Oslo was the third with over 17,000.
“The flight destination to London has been the most popular in all three Lithuanian airports for a long time. Undoubtedly, such popularity is influenced by the large Lithuanian community in Great Britain,” explained G. Almantas.
The aviation market in Europe as a whole has been growing
The year 2016 in terms of the growth of the number of passengers was successful not only for Lithuanian airports, but also for European airports. Last year, a record was set here when two billion passengers were transported. Passenger flows grew most rapidly in Iceland (40 per cent), Romania (24 per cent) and Ukraine (23 per cent).
In EU countries, passenger flows in airports increased by 6.7 per cent last year. G. Almantas, the CEO at Lithuanian Airports, reminded that the number of people using airport services on the Old Continent has been growing by more than 5 per cent per year for three years in a row.
Experts think that similar growth dynamics in European airports will be observed for the next several months in 2017.
In total, 3.77 billion people worldwide travelled by aeroplanes last year.