Increase of LOU’s authorised capital: Attention of the Ministry of Transport and Communications focused on the development of new routes of importance for Lithuania

  • 2024-06-07
  • Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania

In order to further develop the project for promotion of development of flight routes, this year, 5 million euros have been invested in the authorised capital of the public limited liability company Lithuanian Airports (LOU). This was approved by the Government at the meeting on Wednesday. The company’s authorised capital is increased as an additional contribution from the budget allocations for the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

“We aim to further expand the geography of flights and ensure convenient connections with major transit airports through a risk-sharing model. Using this measure, regular flights between Vilnius and London, Lisbon and Hamburg are already being successfully operated, and three more agreements on the operation of international routes are planned this year: regular flights from Vilnius to Düsseldorf and Madrid and from Kaunas to one of the European aviation hubs. Communication with Germany, which intends to deploy a brigade in Lithuania, is particularly important at the moment,” said Marius Skuodis, Minister of Transport and Communications.

There are already convenient connections with German cities from Lithuania: from Vilnius there are 2 weekly flights to Hamburg (airBaltic), 3 weekly flights (airBaltic) and 6 weekly flights (Ryanair) to Berlin, 6 weekly flights to Munich (airBaltic), 17 weekly flights (Lufthansa) and 2 weekly flights (Ryanair) to Frankfurt, 4 weekly flights to Nuremberg (Ryanair), 2 weekly flights to Cologne (Ryanair) and 2 weekly flights to Dortmund (Wizz Air).

Currently, an international procurement for the route development promotion project is underway for the selection of an operator for the flights between Vilnius and Düsseldorf Airport. It is expected that flights to this German city will start this autumn.

Also, negotiations are currently underway for flights from Kaunas to one of the European aviation hubs.   A tender has already been announced for another route – a route between Vilnius and Madrid airports.

Under the risk sharing model, from October 2023, LOT Polish Airlines operates flights between Vilnius and London, and since May of this year, airBaltic has been flying from Vilnius to the German port city of Hamburg and the Portuguese capital of Lisbon.

In the long run, the risk sharing model, which is based on routes that pay off in the future, will be applied to other routes that contribute to the long-term increase of Lithuania’s accessibility. Among the priority destinations for business and inbound tourism are 27 important destinations, as well as cities such as Warsaw, Copenhagen, Zurich, Dublin, Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Krakow and other cities.

The flight promotion model based on the principle of risk sharing launched in 2023 enables the implementation of profitable long-term joint business plans, so it is not a subsidy or a direct grant to airlines.

The overall goal of the route development promotion project is to improve the country’s air communication with the target countries and ensure its sustainability, in order to achieve greater economic competitiveness of Lithuania. Lithuanian airports aim to employ all available resources to promote flights, including a risk sharing model compatible with state aid principles and other measures ensuring flight supply and demand.