News2023.05.26 15:24

Lithuania looks for airline to run flights between Vilnius and London City

BNS 2023.05.26 15:24

Lietuvos Oro Uostai (Lithuanian Airports, LTOU) is looking for a new operator to run scheduled flights between Vilnius and London City airport, as its contract with LOT Polish Airlines for the route is set to expire in October.   

LTOU said in a press release on Friday that it launched an international call for applications from airlines to participate in the selection process.

“This is the first time that flights to a strategic destination for Lithuania have been initiated under a risk-sharing partnership model,” it quoted Transport Minister Marius Skuodis.

“Among the various flight promotion alternatives, this model has been selected as the most appropriate one to increase Lithuania’s air accessibility,” he said. “The City of London is the first destination to be launched, as it is important for the business community and tourism development.”

The government expects to sign the contract with the winning airline by September, with flights to be launched in mid-autumn.

Under the new model, LTOU and the airline will sign an investment agreement of up to 15 years and will share both the financial risks and rewards, according to Aurimas Stikliūnas, acting CEO of LTOU.

June 9 is the deadline for airlines to submit their proposals to LTOU.

In 2018, LOT won a public tender issued by the Lithuanian government under a regulatory exemption allowing states to support “critical” flights within the European Union. This model usually has the government cover losses incurred by airlines.

Under the contract with the Polish airline, flights between Vilnius and London City started in May 2019 and are to run until September 30.

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