LOT Polish Airlines to Continue Operating Vilnius-London City Route
LOT Polish Airlines Reconfirms Operation of Vilnius-London City Flights
LOT Polish Airlines have assured that they will persist in the operation of flights between Vilnius and London City airports. The announcement comes after the signing of an investment agreement with Lithuanian Airports, following the decision to select LOT to service the route. The Lithuanian government regards this route as strategically important.
A New Incentive Model for Business Travellers
A stipulation of the agreement was the scheduling of flights at times and frequencies that are suitable for business travellers. Starting from October, the Vilnius flights will be operated under a new incentive model, and at times that cater to the business traveller. It is predicted that this shift will boost the route’s popularity.
Securing the Future of the Vilnius-London City Route
Simonas Bartkus, the head of Lithuanian Airports, assured that efforts will be undertaken to secure the necessary funding from the government budget to ensure the flight’s development in the upcoming years. The Vilnius to London City route was introduced in May 2019, after the government decided to subsidise the flight to foster business connections between Lithuania and the UK. LOT has been servicing this route since its inception.
Change in Funding Model After Brexit
This initiative was one of the few regulatory exceptions from the European Commission that allowed an airline to receive state aid for the operation of a flight. However, following the UK’s exit from the EU, funding for the flights under this model can no longer be extended. The continuation of the flights is now being managed under a new arrangement that allows for the subsidisation of important transport connections.
Implications of Continued Vilnius-London City Flights
The continuation of this route will provide a substantial boost to the Baltic state. Previously, the only airlines connecting Vilnius to London were Wizz Air and Ryanair, which fly to London Luton or London Stansted. With LOT Polish Airlines operating flights connecting Lithuania’s capital Vilnius to London City Airport, the country will be able to foster stronger economic and social development.
Strategic Importance of the Vilnius-London City Route
Direct connections to priority countries are vital for both business and foreign investors working in Lithuania. The flight to London is good news for the community. With the new flight promotion model, Lithuania is set to become even more appealing for job creation and inbound tourism. It is hoped that Lithuanian Airports will be able to use this model to secure other important destinations for the country.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.