During the period from 14 July till 18 August 2017, when the runway of Vilnius Airport will be under reconstruction, the majority of airlines will divert their flights to Kaunas Airport. Even though during the reconstruction, the schedule and frequency of flights will be somewhat different, connections to the major cities of Europe will remain great, and the number of flights going in certain directions may even increase.
Currently, there are 18 airlines having regular flights to Vilnius Airport, of which 15 (83 percent) already confirmed their plans to divert flights to Kaunas and Palanga Airports.
“Agreements have been reached with an increasing number of airlines that will divert their flights to Kaunas Airport. Connections to Lithuania during the reconstruction of runway of Vilnius Airport will not become worse, and there may even be more flights in certain directions. For example, AirBaltic considers flying a larger aircraft to Amsterdam for more people to reach this city, said Director of Vilnius Air Port Artūras Stankevičius.
Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Finnair, Lufthansa, LOT Polish Airlines, SAS – these and other airlines will operate according to pre-approved schedules, i.e. the reconstruction of the runway of Vilnius Airport will have no effect on intensity of flights and mobility of passengers.
Low-cost airlines operating in Lithuanian Airports did not publish any fundamental changes in their schedules. For example, Wizzair, the company, which serves the most passengers in Vilnius, will move to Kaunas Airport for 35 days, and will operate its 114 routine flights as usual.
According to A. Stankevičius, the majority of airlines already started selling tickets to Kaunas Airport instead of Vilnius.
In order to ensure quality customer service, an additional car parking lot will be built nearby the Kaunas Airport, also reconstructing a passenger terminal. Also, two additional temporary departure and arrival spaces will be set up, namely, a terminal for departing passengers (covering the area of 3445 m2) and a terminal for those who arrive (1000 m2).
Last time, the runway of Vilnius Airport was repaired about 20 years ago. In order to ensure flight safety, it must be reconstructed from the essence. Having examined experience of other European Airports, a decision was made that most technically efficient way was essential reconstruction of the runway, which will last for 35 days.
Having assessed all technical project requirements and such conditions as precipitation, temperature and daylight hours, the optimal time and method of reconstruction was selected for reconstruction works. Having replaced the surface coating alone, the runway would require reconstruction works performed thereon in 5-6 years.
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