Wizz Air Expands its Lithuanian Offering

Central and Eastern European low-cost carrier Wizz Air has announced it will base a third aircraft at Vilnius International Airport in Lithuania from spring next year to introduce two additional routes and boost frequencies on existing services from the Baltic capital.  The new aircraft is scheduled for delivery in March 2014.

The new aircraft will support operations across a total of 16 routes from the Lithuanian capital and increase seat capacity by 30 per cent resulting in 830,000 seats being offered by the budget carrier.  Wizz Air has confirmed it will add more weekly flights on the existing services to Barcelona Girona (from two to three weekly), Eindhoven (from three to four weekly), London Luton (from eleven to 13 weekly), Milan Bergamo (from three to five weekly) and Paris Beauvais (from two to three weekly).

The new arrival will also support the summer operation of a previously announced Tel Aviv route, which starts operating with three weekly frequencies this winter from October 27, 2013 as well as allowing growth into the Mediterranean with the introduction of a weekly summer link to the Greek island Corfu from June 15, 2014.

Wizz Air will also add a new route to Kutaisi, which is coming a key growth destination from across its bases.  Kutaisi is the second largest city in Georgia, and a location rich in historical and cultural heritage, offering beautiful sights and a taste of the friendly Georgian hospitality for all travellers.  It will be served on a twice weekly basis from Vilnius from March 31, 2014.

"At Wizz Air we are committed to the Lithuanian market and the enhancement of infrastructure for low cost air travel. Our growth will contribute to the development of Lithuanian tourism and stimulate new job opportunities in the country,” said József Váradi, chief executive officer, Wizz Air.  “We keep bringing more low fares and great services to Lithuania to benefit our ever expanding customer base.”

Wizz Air first introduced flights into Lithuania in December 2005 when it launched flights to the country’s second largest city Kaunus from its base at Warsaw Chopin Airport in Poland; a market it served until September 2006.  It made its return to the Baltic state in April 2011 when it inaugurated services from Vilnius and from next year will have a network covering 16 destinations across eleven countries.

Budget airlines now dominate Lithuanian skies and Wizz Air is currently the second largest international operator in the country, with 1 13.2 per cent share of this year’s seat capacity.  Our analysis below shows the largest operators in the Lithuanian international market by available seats this year and the leasing role ultra low-cost carrier Ryanair has in this Baltic market.  It is also worth noting that the Estonian Air total includes its operations for new Lithuanian carrier Air Lituanica.

SCHEDULED INTERNATIONAL AIR CAPACITY FROM LITHUANIA (non-stop departures; 2013)

Rank

Airline

Flights

Seats

% Total Capacity

1

Ryanair (FR)

4,290

810,810

38.9 %

2

Wizz Air (W6)

1,523

274,140

13.2 %

3

airBaltic (BT)

2,104

157,895

7.6 %

4

SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK)

1,431

130,386

6.3 %

5

Lufthansa (LH)

716

115,254

5.5 %

6

LOT Polish Airlines (LO)

852

67,962

3.3 %

7

Small Planet Airlines (ELC)

414

59,706

2.9 %

8

Estonian Air (OV)

865

58,970

2.8 %

9

Flybe Nordic (BE)

702

57,578

2.8 %

10

Aeroflot Russian Airlines (SU)

363

46,372

2.2 %

TOTAL

16,535

2,083,202

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