Kaunas International Airport
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Kaunas International Airport serves the city of Kaunas, Lithuania. The airport is the second-busiest in Lithuania and among the busiest in the Baltic region. It is also a major cargo facility in Lithuania. The airport has recorded strong growth in recent years, with Ryanair locating a base at Kaunas.
Location of Kaunas International Airport, Lithuania
Ground Handlers servicing Kaunas International Airport
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Air Lituanica launched services at the end of Jun-2013, making it the first scheduled Lithuanian carrier since the collapse of FlyLAL in 2009 and Star1 Airlines in 2010. Air Lituanica will see Lithuania once again connected to other key European countries through a home-based carrier.
As the largest of the three Baltic states with a land area of 65,300km2, Lithuania has a population of about three million and had a GDP in 2012 of about USD42 billion, according to World Bank data. The country currently has four airports in Vilnius, Kaunas, Palanga and Šiauliai which are served by about 20 foreign carriers.
Aside from Air Lituanica, there are currently five other Lithuanian airlines including five charter carriers (Aurela, Avion Express, DOT LT, Grand Cru Airlines and Small Planet Airlines) and one cargo carrier (Aviavilsa). There have been no domestic services in the country since the demise of FlyLAL.
Ryanair announced the commencement of its first Estonian services in Dec-2010 as its drive north-eastwards continues.
Ryanair, the second largest carrier in the UK, announced plans to reduce UK winter capacity by 16% from Nov-2010, stating the decision will result in the loss of more than 2 million passengers at UK airports over winter 2010 on a year-on-year basis.
In Feb-2010, Ryanair announced plans to open its 40th - and first Central European - base at Kaunas in Lithuania in May-2010 with two based aircraft (B737-800s) and 18 routes, nine of them new, in a USD140 million investment. Ryanair also confirmed that it is in continuous negotiation with four other Central European airports to open bases. The Lithuanian Transport Minister welcomed the decision, but the airport’s manager was reported not to be so keen, insisting, according to the Estonian Free Press that no carrier had signed a long term agreement with the airport. What does this mean for Ryanair, for other carriers and for the airports?
Ryanair stated negotiations with Boeing regarding an order for 200 aircraft, for delivery between 2013 and 2015, have broken down, due to the manufacturer changing the delivery conditions for the aircraft, adding an order is now “highly unlikely to happen”.