The three Lithuanian airports handled 867,000 passengers in the three months of this summer, more than doubling the passenger traffic and increasing the number of flights by one third compared to the same period last year.
The largest share of passengers in the three summer months - Vilnius Airport handled more than 651,000 people, while Kaunas Airport handled almost 170,000 and Palanga Airport - over 46,000.
The number of passengers this summer increased by 105% compared to the same period last year, when 422,000 people were carried.
This period also saw a significant increase in the supply of flights. In June-August, 10,7 thousand flights were carried out at the country’s three gateways, which is an increase of 35% compared to 7,9 thousand flights last year. Compared to June-August 2019, during this summer all three airports have already reached 63% of the pre-pandemic number of flights, and Kaunas Airport reached even 79%.
Extremely good results are observed in the cargo transportation segment - the volumes of cargo transported by aircraft increased this summer compared to both last year’s and 2019 summer results. The three airports handled 5,2 thousand tonnes of cargo, or 19,4% more than in the same period last year, when 4,4 thousand tonnes of cargo were handled. In 2019, 4,2 thousand tonnes of cargo were transported by air.
“Several factors have contributed to the improving performance of Lithuanian airports. The introduction of the COVID-19 digital health certificate in the EU and some other countries has greatly facilitated flight procedures. As a result, passengers with a COVID-19 certificate were able to travel to the most relevant countries in our region without any restrictions. The flight recovery strategy of Lithuanian airports was also successfully implemented, focusing on restoring supply and demand. All this was combined by the fact that the desire of passengers to be mobile and use air transport has not disappeared, or perhaps even strengthened, the airlines have also increased the scope of their activities,” says Aurimas Stikliūnas, Head of the Aviation Services Division of Lithuanian Airports.
In total, 1,18 million passengers have been recorded at Lithuanian airports since the beginning of 2021. With the growth in flights and destinations, it is expected to reach 2,2 million passengers by the end of the year.
“Of course, everything can be adjusted by the new COVID-19 variants. However, taking into account demand trends and airline plans, we see that our plan is quite realistic, as not only holiday flights are recovering around the world, but also business travel, which is expected to pick up even more in the autumn. It is also very important that some countries that have achieved a high vaccination rate are already talking about abandoning pandemic restrictions altogether, which may also affect international flights and passenger flows,” says A. Stikliūnas.
As of July this year, around 80 direct scheduled routes have been operated to and from Lithuanian airports, compared to more than 90 routes in 2019, a record year for passenger aviation. Already in October, the number of destinations is expected to increase to 83, and in November to 86 routes.
About Lithuanian Airports
The network of Lithuanian Airports includes three air gates in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga. In 2020, Lithuanian airports handled 1,8 million passengers and 30,000 flights.