Why Vilnius Would possibly Be A New Various For British Airways

Inside the pursuits of guaranteeing a useful, well-timed service between Lithuania’s capital metropolis and one among many largest finance and commerce amenities in Europe, Lithuanian Airports is introducing a model new airline incentive model. Taking the kind of a backed route between Vilnius Worldwide Airport (VNO) and London Metropolis Airport (LCY), Lithuania’s airport operator is hoping airways will submit proposals to grab the contract – which can last for as a lot as 15 years. So which airways could we take into consideration competing for the contract?


Not a public service obligation

A PSO (public service obligation) has been working between Vilnius and London Metropolis since 2019. Actually, Simple Flying lined the topic when the route was launched. Two years of arduous work and negotiations resulted in LOT Polish Airways being chosen to perform an Embraer E190 service six cases per week. When it first began, the service ran twice every day on weekdays, and, in the midst of the summer season season moreover ran as quickly as every day on weekends. This service nonetheless operates, nevertheless the contract is about to complete in only some months, on September thirtieth.

This time spherical, nonetheless, Lithuanian Airports is asking its plan to secure London Metropolis service a “new airline incentive model,” and received’t be a public service obligation Instead, the model takes the kind of a world title for features from airways to participate throughout the alternative course of. “Airways can submit their proposals from within the current day until June ninth,” a Lithuanian Airports press assertion reads.

“That’s the main time that flights to a strategic trip spot for Lithuania have been initiated beneath a risk-sharing partnership model. Among the many many different flight promotion alternate choices, this model has been chosen as primarily probably the most acceptable to increase Lithuania’s air accessibility. The Metropolis of London is the first trip spot to be launched, as it’s essential for the enterprise group and tourism development.” – Marius Skuodis, Lithuania’s Minister of Transport and Communications ​​​​​​

{Photograph}: LOT Polish Airways

In 2019, LRT reported that Lithuania’s Financial system and Innovation Minister well-known that state assist for the LOT service wouldn’t exceed €3 million ($3.2mn) yearly.

This time spherical, the “risk-sharing” language highlights the reality that the federal authorities is simply not contributing financially as compared with its address LOT Polish Airways. The settlement with LOT was one among many few regulatory exemptions from the European Price that allowed an airline to acquire state assist for the operation of a flight. Sadly, the funding of this model can’t be extended now that the UK has left the European Union. Actually, throughout the tender, it was made clear: [The] Hazard Sharing Partnership shall include no State Assist.

What kind of airline is Lithuania looking for?

Lithuanian Airports notes that this route is “of express significance to enterprise passengers,” together with that alternative requirements objectives to ensure that flights are “operated at cases and frequencies useful for this section of passengers.”

Inspecting the tender doc put out by Lithuanian Airports, listed below are some explicit requirements for candidate carriers:

  • The number of seats throughout the aircraft per flight shall be not lower than 98.
  • Time of departure from London Metropolis Airport: 06:00 to 10:30 (native time) or 16:00 to twenty:00 (native time).
  • Frequency of rotation (spherical journey) of direct flights – not lower than 4 per week.
Vilnius airport entrance

Whereas hazard is shared, there may very well be tons to attain for the worthwhile supplier. Actually, Lithuanian Airports is able to sign on for a most of 15 years. So, with this in ideas, what airways could we envision inserting themselves forward for consideration? Two carriers immediately come to ideas:

  • LOT Polish Airways, moreover equipped with a enterprise class, might should be considered quickly as as soon as extra. Not solely is the incumbent airline already pretty conscious of the service, however it moreover operates as many as 5 flights per day between Vilnius and Warsaw. Furthermore, with Vilnius airport already being well-served by completely different Star Alliance carriers just like Lufthansa, SAS, and Turkish Airways, frequent flyers might respect having one different Star Alliance airline they’re usually loyal to.
  • On the UK end of points, British Airways and perhaps their BA CityFlyer subsidiary may very well be a superb alternative. The airline has however to serve Lithuania, nevertheless this might presumably be a chance to find out a connection. Having the oneworld alliance member serve the route would give vacationers the pliability to e book with British Airways and even maybe be part of by London Metropolis to get to completely different BA CityFlyer areas throughout the space, along with Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, and Belfast. Furthermore, as everyone knows LOT’s E190s can comfortably make the journey, there shouldn’t be any technical limitations for BA CityFlyer’s E190 fleet.
airBaltic a220 lithuanian colors

{Photograph}: Michele Ursi | Shutterstock

SWISS and its fleet of Airbus A220-100s may very well be a superb match as successfully. The airline already flies to Vilnius from Zurich with a mix of A220-100s and -300s (and A320s sometimes). SWISS companion Helvetic Airways has aircraft in a position to the route as successfully. The airline operates the E190, E190-E2, and E195-E2 – all aircraft that are in a position to the steep technique launched by London Metropolis Airport.

Low-cost carriers like Ryanair and Wizz Air are firmly out of the working, as their cabins lack a enterprise class. Further importantly, their narrowbodies aren’t small enough to serve London Metropolis Airport.

On that exact same phrase, airBaltic would have been the plain different. Intently invested throughout the Baltics, the Latvian airline supplies satisfactory premium suppliers to enchantment to the ‘enterprise class’ demographic. Furthermore, the airline’s fleet of A220-300s are stylish and surroundings pleasant, already figuring out of Vilnius airport. Sadly, nonetheless, the A220-300 is just too big to soundly fly in and out of London Metropolis Airport.

Will any airways chunk?

In the long run, we should wait and see which airways are actually on this. Establishing a route will take up sources. Furthermore, if there’s a hazard of low and unprofitable load elements, then carriers might resolve to commit their aircraft and crews elsewhere.


Furthermore, as evidenced by LOT’s service, opponents between the two cities, usually, is now overwhelmingly dominated by Ryanair and Wizz Air. Ryanair serves Vilnius from every Stansted and Luton, whereas Wizz Air connects the cities from Luton. Whereas it may presumably be argued that the business-oriented service from London Metropolis serves a singular demographic, an airline might want to ensure its aircraft are full of a share of leisure or VFR (visited associates and kin) website guests as successfully.

So which airline would you choose to perform this service? Would you want LOT or BA CityFlyer and their E190s, or airBaltic and the A220? Share your concepts by leaving a comment!

Provide: LRT