The challenges of the pandemic continue to have negative influence on Lithuanian Airports’ results. In October, the number of passengers decreased by more than 20 percent in comparison with September. Rising numbers of handled cargo bring some optimism.
In October, all three airports of the country jointly provided services to just over 77 thousand passengers. As usual, the biggest number of passengers was recorded at Vilnius Airport – 53 thousand, while Kaunas Airport handled 17 thousand and Palanga Airport – 6.6 thousand. In contrast, 100 thousand passengers were serviced in total during September, a month which also saw negative trends in travel demand.
2 256 flights were handled during October, which is 23.7 percent less than in September. The number of offered direct routes also decreased during the last month: there were 59 routes in October, while in September Lithuania’s air gates offered 68.
According to Aurimas Stikliūnas, Head of Aviation Services at Lithuanian Airports, the constantly decreasing number of passengers and flights are determined by continuously changing travelling restrictions.
“It should be acknowledged that the greatest challenge for the aviation sector is created by constantly changing rules on travel. People are not able to plan any trips, since every potential opportunity to fly hangs on a thin thread. Number show, however, that the desire to travel has not evaporated. As soon as certain countries ease restrictions, the load factor on airplanes doubles”, – states Mr. Stikliūnas.
According to Mr. Stikliūnas, the situation is also similar when talking about the flight plans of the airlines for the end of this year – the plans are made no further than for a few weeks in advance, namely due to the perpetually changing restrictions enforced by countries.
Cargo volumes are increasing
Even though passenger aviation is currently undergoing an especially tense period, according to the data from Lithuanian Airports, the situation in the field of cargo transportation by air is significantly more optimistic.
It has been highlighted that during the last few years the number of handled cargo has been constantly increasing. In August, 1 504 tons of cargo were recorded at Lithuanian Airports in total, in September – 1 704 tons, whereas in October the number reached 1 708 tons. Vilnius Airport handles the largest amount of cargo (1 299 tons), Kaunas Airport is second with 409 tons. In comparison to the same period last year, the last few months showed cargo activity having increased by 10%.