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In the third quarter of this year, the aviation indicators of Lithuanian Airports continued to improve, and in September alone the company handled almost 8.5% more passengers than in the same month last year. The results of the third quarter of this year show that passenger traffic at Lithuanian airports was 5% higher (compared to the same quarter of 2022) and 4% more flights were handled.

"We have had a very active summer and early autumn, with the key performance indicators of all airports growing steadily and matching their pre-pandemic performance, and we are certainly in a very active period of growth, which should not stop in October. We are expecting a more significant change at the beginning of the winter aviation season at the end of October, when aviation flight schedules are significantly adjusted and the demand for travelling on certain routes decreases," says Tomas Zitikis, Head of Aviation Services at Lithuanian Airports.

Vilnius Airport is on the rise

Vilnius Airport achieved the highest growth momentum in the third quarter of this year. The gateway offering the largest number of destinations handled over 1.31 million passengers - 5.3% more than in the same period last year. The growth rate of passenger traffic at Kaunas Airport was not far behind, with 4.9% more passengers served, 366.6 thousand in total. The number of passengers travelling through Palanga Airport remained the same compared to the third quarter of last year, with 85,000 people handled in the three months.

According to the company's data, Vilnius also recorded the most significant change in the number of flights, with a 6% increase in the number of flights handled during the quarter. Zitikis notes that the NATO Summit held in Vilnius on 11-12 July, the first time in Lithuania, had some influence on this. Lithuanian airports were responsible for the reception and send-off of thousands of important guests - during peak aircraft traffic, planes (commercial and delegation) took off and landed at Vilnius Airport every 3-4 minutes.

"However, most of the growth is due to the implementation of agreements on increased frequencies and new destinations, as well as increased demand for charter flights to popular summer holiday destinations," explains T. Zitikis.

The total number of flights through all three airports in the third quarter of this year exceeded 15,000 and was almost 4% higher compared to the same period last year. The volume of air freight transported in the third quarter amounted to 4.76 thousand tonnes, 14% lower than in the same period last year.

September has become an extension of summer

When autumn started in September, 82 flight routes were available to passengers from Lithuanian airports. The number of destinations from Kaunas remained unchanged, while the number of destinations from Vilnius and Palanga was slightly lower compared to the same month last year. However, passengers were much more active in September this year than last year, with almost 10% more passengers served at Vilnius Airport and 4% more passengers at Kaunas and Palanga airports.

In total, over 576,000 people used the services of Lithuanian airports in September. Over 5,000 flights were served - 6.5% more than in September 2022. Cargo traffic in September this year amounted to 1.7 thousand tonnes and was 18% lower compared to the same period last year.

According to T. Zitikis, it is not only this September that is surprising in terms of passenger traffic, but also the initial trends of October, and Lithuanian airports are now ready for the winter season, which usually has its own nuances: with the arrival of colder weather, the directions and frequency of trips change, which is influenced by the decisions of airlines. "However, this winter it will be possible to reach directly from Lithuania not only the main European capitals and important cities, mountain resorts, but also such warm destinations as the Canary Islands and the United Arab Emirates," points out the Head of Route Development at Lithuanian Airports.

Currently, 12 airlines operate scheduled flights at Lithuanian airports, 9 of which are traditional airlines and other three are low-cost airlines.

Last updated: 2023 10 12

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