Airport news

2018 08 10

A tender is announced for airlines to fly from Vilnius to London City

Lithuanian Airports have announced an invitation to take part in a public tender where the winning air carrier will start operating flights from Vilnius to London City Airport next year. The new route was recognised as vital for economic and social development of the country by the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

According to the Minister of Transport and Communications Rokas Masiulis, continuous efforts are in place to offer as many new routes for Lithuanian passengers as possible. In addition, regular flights and convenient connection to London City will contribute to ensuring an even better visibility of our country.

“The new route plays an important role in increasing Lithuania’s accessibility, the number of direct flights to our country’s airports and improving the image of Lithuania. Without doubt, the introduction of new routes is important in order to strengthen the tourism, transport, and service sectors in our country,” says the Minister of Transport and Communications.

“Over the past three years, Lithuania lost more than 4,300 new jobs simply because it was not able to offer a business-oriented flight between Vilnius and London to foreign investors. Bearing in mind that UK companies are among the most active investors in Lithuania and Lithuania’s main competitors, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, it is necessary to have a comfortable flight for business representatives to be able to fly to Lithuania in the morning and return to London at the end of the working day,” says Virginijus Sinkevičius.

Lithuanian Airports were granted the authority to hold a public tender. According to CEO of Lithuanian Airports Marius Gelžinis, the company’s main responsibility is to ensure that the tender process is carried out smoothly.

“We communicate with air carriers directly while trying to establish new contacts. We are actively looking for cooperation opportunities with potential partners; therefore, we are now obliged to conduct a public tender for airlines that can fly the Vilnius-London City route,” says Marius Gelžinis. “We will make sure that air carriers’ offers are submitted in accordance with the public tender requirements applied for this type of services. Following the submission of offers by various airlines, a special commission consisting of representatives from the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Public Enterprise Invest Lithuania and Lithuanian Airports will elect the winner of the tender”.

The Ministry of Economy made plans to award a compensation for the provision of public services to the winner of the tender. According to minimal requirements of the tender, direct flight tickets will have to be sold at market prices. The winning airline will be bound to run flights from Monday to Friday and at least once a day on Saturdays and Sundays, i.e., at least six and no more than twelve times a week. The new route will be open for passengers throughout the year.

The scheduled departure time from London City Airport is between 06:00 and 10:30 or between 16:00 and 20:00 local time. The airlines participating in the tender have to ensure that each flight seats at least 98 passengers.

According to CEO of Lithuanian Airports Marius Gelžinis, first flights from Vilnius to London City will depart in spring of 2019 while the winning air carrier will operate the route for at least four years.

If the airline intending to provide services on the route between Vilnius Airport and London City Airport without compensation enters the tender, the tender would be terminated by agreement with the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

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 summer season, 17 airlines organize direct flights in 79 regular directions to 67 cities in 29 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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