In August this year, Lithuanian airports continued to record rapid growth rates. In the last month of the summer more than 573 thousand passengers travelled through Lithuanian Airports, almost 5 thousand flights were handled, and about 1.8 thousand tonnes of cargo were transported. Last month, passengers could choose from 90 destinations.
In August 2019, considered to be the record-breaking year, 621.5 thousand passengers travelled through Lithuanian airports, 5.7 thousand flights were handled and 1.5 thousand tonnes of cargo were transported. In the same period of 2021, 371.6 thousand passengers travelled through Lithuanian airports, almost 4 thousand flights were handled and 1.8 thousand tonnes of cargo were transported.
According to aviation experts, aviation's transition from recovery to growth continues. During the summer period, 92% of pre-pandemic passenger traffic and 86% of flights have been restored, while cargo traffic is outperforming its previous performance.
"The month of August reflected the general aviation trends at Lithuanian airports and the fact that the recovery of traveller flows is even faster than at the beginning of this summer. Looking at the public behaviour surveys and our actual results, it is safe to say that aviation recovery rates will remain high in the near future, and overall flows may be affected by seasonality, but this is a trend that was the same before the pandemic, as we approach the winter seasons. Generally speaking, we are returning to the pre-pandemic reality and activity volumes in all senses, and we do not foresee any major negative corrections in the aviation recovery process during the coming months," explained the Interim Head of Lithuanian Airports Aurimas Stikliūnas.
Kaunas remains the leader in growth
As in previous months, Vilnius Airport handled the largest number of passengers and flights. Last month, 421,000 passengers travelled through this gateway, more than 3,500 flights were handled and almost 1,300 tonnes of cargo were transported. In 2019, 469,000 passengers travelled through the airport, almost 4,200 flights were handled and 1,200 tonnes of cargo were transported. Meanwhile, in August last year, Vilnius Airport handled 275,000 passengers, 2.9 thousand flights and no significant difference in the amount of cargo transported.
Kaunas Airport maintains its position as the growth leader in the airport network - this year's results exceed the pre-pandemic indicators. Last month, 120 thousand passengers travelled through Kaunas Airport. In comparison, 116,000 passengers travelled through Kaunas Airport in the same period in 2019 and 75,000 in the same period last year. 979 flights were handled at Kaunas Airport in August, compared to 902 in 2019 and 777 in 2021. The number of cargo transports through Kaunas Airport has also increased. Last month, almost 482 tonnes of cargo were transported, compared to 272 tonnes before the pandemic in 2019 and 478 tonnes last year.
Meanwhile, Palanga Airport is experiencing rapid growth in cargo traffic. In the last month of the summer, 5.32 tonnes of cargo were transported through the airport. In the same period in 2019, 3.63 tonnes were transported, compared to 0.1 tonnes last year. Last month, the airport managed to restore 86% of its pre-pandemic passenger traffic, with 31,500 passengers travelling through Palanga Airport in August this year and 407 flights. In comparison, in the same period in 2019, 36.7 thousand passengers travelled through the airport and 632 flights were operated, while in 2021, 22 thousand passengers travelled through the airport and 323 flights were handled.