Vilnius Airport, located in the capital of Lithuania, is catching up with pre-pandemic records and plans further steady growth. A new departure terminal is already under construction at Lithuania's largest civilian airport and is scheduled to open in 2025. The terminal will not only increase the airport's capacity by more than 14,000 square metres, but will also significantly expand commercial space for retailers, caterers, and other service providers.
Vilnius Airport handled a record 5 million passengers in 2019, and in 2022, after the pandemic, passengers are travelling once again — 3.9 million people flew to and from Vilnius last year. According to the forecasts of Lithuanian Airports, the number of passengers is expected to double over the next decade to around 7.5 million passengers per year.
“According to our estimates, the number of passengers at Vilnius Airport is expected to grow at an average rate of around 8% per year. We are preparing for this and we are expanding to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of our passengers and to offer them more high-quality places to shop, eat delicious and quick meals, and to receive other services that are relevant to travellers,” says Gintarė Norvilaitė-Tautevičė, the Chief Commercial Officer of Lithuanian Airports.
Commercial space will grow one and a half times
Currently, the commercial space of Vilnius Airport is about 3,300 square metres (excluding warehouses, technical facilities, and offices). There are 6 Duty Free shops, 9 cafés and restaurants, and 11 other retail and service outlets.
After existing infrastructure is reconstructed and connected to the new departure terminal, the commercial space will increase up to 5,000 square metres. As much as 1.9 thousand square metres of this will be dedicated to Duty Free shops. A similar area will be dedicated to cafés and restaurants, and 12 other types of retail and service outlets will be offered, such as a pharmacy, a luggage packing service, etc. Lithuanian Airports will also invite international market players to participate in the tenders, for example, the Duty Free tenders will be focused exclusively on international businesses.
“We are planning two large Duty Free stores at the airport. A large area for a single store instead of several smaller ones is much more attractive. The retailer can use it more efficiently, adapt and integrate more interesting, out-of-the-box solutions. Passengers also prefer more spacious shops”, says Norvilaitė-Tautevičė.
13 restaurants and cafés planned
The number of restaurants at Vilnius Airport will increase from 9 to 13. The aim is to meet the different needs of passengers: some are in a hurry and want to have a quick and inexpensive meal, while others have more time on their hands and want delicious, perhaps even luxurious, food.
“We hope to be able to offer a wide range of food and beverages to passengers in Vilnius, so that all travellers can find something what they want. We also have an expectation that there will be those willing to create a brand or restaurant concept exclusively for our airport,” says the Chief Commercial Officer of Lithuanian Airports.
The tenders for the provision of trade and services in commercial premises at Vilnius Airport are expected to be launched in 2024, with the first ones — at the beginning of the year. The timeline will depend on the reconstruction process, but the first outlets are expected to open in early 2025 and all commercial spaces will be occupied and operational within one to two years.
About the new terminal – www.vno.lt/en/new-departure-terminal