In the first month of 2023, the rapid recovery of aviation continued, with Kaunas and Palanga airports already exceeding their pre-pandemic performance since the beginning of the year. In January 2023, Lithuanian airports handled more than 384 thousand passengers and 3.6 thousand flights. Cargo volumes continue to grow steadily.
According to Tomas Zitikis, Head of Route Development at Lithuanian Airports, the continued growth in passenger and flight flows indicates the rapid recovery of the aviation sector.
“All three airports are showing growth tendencies. Since January, Kaunas and Palanga airports have been showing higher growth rates than those recorded in January 2019, which was a record-breaking month. Meanwhile, Vilnius airport has managed to restore almost 80% of its pre-pandemic passenger traffic. There is no doubt that the aviation sector continues to recover rapidly. Growth is also evident in the cargo handling sector, which is up by 17% compared to 2019,” said T. Zitikis.
According to T. Zitikis, this year's main objective is to develop the quality of existing and new flight routes, to meet the needs of specific (business) flights and to present new ways to encourage airlines to expand their operations at Lithuanian Airports.
In January, 10 airlines operated scheduled flights at Lithuanian airports, of which 7 are legacy airlines: airBaltic, Scandinavian Airlines SAS, Finnair, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Swiss International Air Lines, Turkish Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines.
Outperforming 2019 results
In January 2023, more than 384,000 passengers travelled through Lithuanian airports and 3,599 flights were operated. Vilnius Airport handled the largest share of flights and passengers.
More than 264,000 passengers travelled through Vilnius Airport last month and almost 2,500 flights were operated. In comparison, 338,000 passengers travelled through the gateway in 2019 and 3,500 flights were operated. In the same period last year, 185,000 passengers travelled through Vilnius Airport and 2.4 thousand flights were operated.
Vilnius Airport is experiencing a rapid growth in the cargo transportation sector - more than 1.1 thousand tonnes of cargo were transported last month. In 2019, this indicator reached 1,000 tonnes, compared to 1,080 tonnes in the same period last year.
Meanwhile, Kaunas and Palanga airports outperformed the pre-pandemic figures last month.
In January, more than 95,000 passengers travelled through Kaunas Airport and 844 flights were operated. In the same period in 2019, 82,000 passengers used the gateway, and 776 flights were operated. In January last year, Kaunas Airport handled almost 56,000 passengers and 659 flights.
In the cargo transportation sector, Kaunas Airport is also showing growth - in January, 416 tonnes of cargo were transported. In January 2019, 253 tonnes were transported, compared to 386 tonnes last year.
In the first month of this year Palanga Airport handled 24 thousand passengers and 274 flights. In January 2019, 23 thousand passengers visited Palanga Airport and 298 flights were operated. In the same period last year, 10,000 passengers and 180 flights were handled.