Lithuanian airports set to be expanded

Picture credit: Wikipedia, Author, Teekkari

Members of the Lithuanian Parliament (the Seimas) passed a law on 2 June allowing a concessionaire to develop three Lithuanian gateways –  Vilnius Airport, Kaunas Airport, and Palanga Airport.

Operator Lithuanian Airports will launch a concession tender for a private investor to manage and develop Vilnius, Palanga and Kaunas airports for a 25-year period.

Plans are to develop all three airports, utilising underused capacity, and improving regional connectivity, while cargo is set to play a major role in the expansion.

The Municipal company Siauliu Oro Uostas, which is operating at Siauliai International Airport is not affected by the new law.

Management and development of Vilnius, Kaunas, and Palanga will be regulated separately and at the end of the concession the Lithuanian government would take the assets.

On the Lithuanian Parliament’s website it says: “The Seimas cancelled the previous law on 2 June, while the government takes obligations of 58 million euros, but the approval of the Seimas is needed.

“The law includes the position according to which the land and other assets the concessionaire must use only for activities related to the functions of the airport. The exception could be made with the approval of the Lithuanian government.”

In May 2015, Lithuania’s national carrier Air Lituanica collapsed, which presented a challenge for operator Lithuanian Airports, but most of the routes were picked up by other airlines.

Two new carriers will begin operations to Vilnius in June – Vueling to Barcelona and Germania to Zurich. Wizz Air and Ryanair have both announced their expansion at the three Lithuanian airports, and LOT and Belavia will this year operate from both Vilnius and Palanga.