State owned enterprise Lithuanian Airports (LTOU), which took over responsibility for operating the gateways of Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga just over a year ago – also reports an increase air traffic movements, revenues, EBITDA and net profit.
A 13% upturn in revenues (aeronautical and non-aeronautical) during the first five months of the year led to a 65% rise in its net profit, while its EBITDA soared by 33%.
Lithuania decided to form one company to operate and develop the three airports after the European Union refused to financially back the gateway’s planned infrastructure investment projects.
It believes that a single operator will be better equipped to strategically plan and co-ordinate each airport’s development and boost commercial revenues, and LTOU’s performance in its first year of operations certainly appears to justify the decision.
“I am delighted that a long-planned decision to merge Lithuanian airports is served its purpose,” enthuses Minister of Transport and Communications Rimantas Sinkevičius.
“As always, there were a number of sceptics, but the results of the very first year show the viability of the three international air gateways and their growing prospects.
"Air transport possibilities from Lithuania have never been so broad.”
LTOU CEO, Gediminas Almantas, notes: “Lithuanian Airports have two faces – one seen by Lithuanians and the other by our foreign guests.
“First of all, we are an air gateway to the world for Lithuanians, so an important goal is to increase our route network by adding to the number of countries and cities reached from Lithuania.
"This, of course, is also creates better opportunities for business and tourism.
“Secondly, we are the first and last impression of our country for foreign visitors, so our aim is to make it as good as possible by offering quality services and facilities.”
Between the three airports are served by 17 airlines, which currently operate services to 60 destinations.
The upturn in traffic to date has led LTOU to predict that over 3.8 million passengers will pass through Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga airports in 2015.
LTOU’s strategy is to continue to develop Vilnius as the nation’s principal hub, Palanga as a tourism gateway and Kaunas as a regional airport and new base for aviation related business under the umbrella of its AeroHub KUN investment project.