In March 2022, Lithuanian Airports welcomed almost 312,000 passengers and almost 3,700 flights. In comparison, in March 2021, the three airports welcomed 56,000 passengers and more than 1,600 flights. The number of passengers has already increased by 67% and the number of flights by 80% compared to the pre-pandemic level (March 2019).
Aurimas Stikliūnas, Head of Aviation Services at Lithuanian Airports, says that such an increase in aviation traffic is logical, since many European countries have lifted the additional restrictions and security screenings during the pandemic period, which has made the travel process much easier.
“Taking into consideration the seasonality, March is usually the month with the highest traffic in aviation, which is the prelude to the summer season. Therefore, in our view, this March already reflects all the trends we saw in the pre-pandemic period. Travellers definitely no longer want to postpone their travels and have become more emboldened by the opportunities to travel for business, holidays or to visit their relatives. We see growth and a steady recovery in all categories of aviation indicators, and airports have moved even closer to full recovery from the challenges of the pandemic,” says Stikliūnas
According to the expert, it is also important to note that Russia’s war in Ukraine has been going on for the whole month of March. Despite the geopolitical tensions that emerged in the first month of spring, this did not negatively affect passenger traffic at Lithuanian Airports. A growing trend has been observed towards people who are emotionally tired, have some financial cushions and are worried about the overall rising prices, taking the opportunity to travel at prices lower than those expected for the near future.
In March this year, 217,000 passengers were recorded at Vilnius Airport (51,000 in 2021), 79,000 at Kaunas Airport (4,385 in 2021) and 15,000 at Palanga Airport (997 in 2021). Moreover, Kaunas Airport, the second largest airport, stands out for its passenger traffic, which in March has already reached almost 93% of the number of passengers recorded there in 2019 - it is the airport returning to pre-pandemic level most rapidly.
The number of flights at Vilnius Airport this March was 2,624 (compared to 1,236 in 2021), the number of flights at Kaunas Airport in March has already exceeded the pre-pandemic level by 15% and reached 821 (compared to 283 in 2021), while Palanga Airport in March recorded 248 operated flights (compared to 127 in 2021).
In March, Vilnius Airport transported 1,330 tonnes of cargo (1,375 tonnes in 2021), while Kaunas Airport transported a total of 408 tonnes (413 tonnes in 2021).
About Lithuanian Airports
The network of Lithuanian Airports includes three airport gateways in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga. In 2021, Lithuanian airports serviced almost 2.5 million passengers, more than 34,000 flights and transported more than 20,000 tonnes of cargo.