The data provided by Vilnius Airport revealed that the volume of flights also saw a significant uptick, registering a 4.5 per cent surge from the preceding year, totalling more than 53,000 flights, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
If we compare not the total number but passenger flows, particularly to Western countries in 2023, with those taken to the same destination in 2019, we have already surpassed the scope before the pandemic.
Tomas also noted that flights to eastern destinations have ceased, making it challenging to draw direct comparisons between the current situation and that of previous years, such as 2019, considering its comprehensive indices. He further said that the evident growth trend is poised to strengthen further in 2024.
Lithuanian Airports Experience Surge in Operations During 2023
Further data shows an important trend observed last year: the expanded scope of operations by traditional air carriers at Lithuanian airports. This includes Finnair, which operates four daily flights from Vilnius to Helsinki, even during winter.
Lufthansa has also doubled its daily flights to Frankfurt, while SAS operates a total of 19 weekly flights between Vilnius and Copenhagen, along with 12 weekly flights to Stockholm. Austrian Airlines offers three weekly flights connecting Vilnius and Vienna. Brussels Airlines, a Belgian carrier, schedules four weekly flights to Brussels, and LOT Polish Airlines, a Polish carrier, boasts up to 32 weekly flights to Warsaw.
Moreover, experts highlighted the achievement of a record-breaking performance of Kaunas Airport in the previous year. As a result, the airport served more than 1.3 million passengers, marking an impressive 12 per cent increase even when compared to 2019.
As Zitikis explains, indicators of targeted growth are evident not only in the achievements of Kaunas Airport but also in the performance of Vilnius and Palanga airports. This suggests a steady acceleration this year, strengthening the aviation sector’s contribution to the country’s economy.
Lithuanian Airports Forecast to Reach 2019 Levels Amid Rising Global Travel Demand
The aviation expert predicts that, given the unprecedented global growth in air travel demand, total passenger volumes at Lithuanian air terminals in the current year will likely mirror the levels seen in 2019, reaching around 6.5 million.
Last year, over six million passengers passed through Lithuania’s airports, a marked increase from 5.35 million passengers in 2022 to 2.47 million in 2021. Vilnius Airport took the lead with 4.4 million passengers, compared to 3 9 million in 2022. Kaunas Airport served 1.3 million passengers, exceeding 1.16 million in 2022, and Palanga Airport received 307 thousand passengers, up from 275,000 passengers in 2022.