Due to the infrastructural growth of Vilnius – new hotel openings, the new congress centre and Modern Art Centre – the question arises on how the airport has reacted to these developments, as consequently, it must serve a greater amount of passengers. To find out more about it, I’ve talked to Olaf Martens, CEO of Vilnius Airport.
There are 3 airports in Lithuania – in Vilnius, Kaunas und Palanga, with Vilnius being the largest one. It’s a city airport that is located only 6 km away from the city centre and thus within easy reach of all the big hotels.
2016 was a record year for Vilnius Airport: In total, the airport served 3.8 Mio passengers – 14 percent more than in 2015! It offered 42.000 flights to 56 destinations and this number is growing! Olaf explained that there will be 5 new destinations in the first quarter of the year, among them Munich, and more flights will be offered in already exisiting destinations/cities, such as Frankfurt.
According to Olaf, the only problem is the airport itself: “We can only serve 5 Mio passengers a year.” There is no possibility to build a second runway bedause of its location: “Vilnius Airport is a city airport, thus we’re limited. Passengers come in the morning to the airport, back in the evening. So, we want to stay in the city. We focus more on the development of technology and improve what’s already existing. We try to reduce the noise pollution for example and improve the frequency.”
A major project in the summer will be the reconstruction of Vilnius Airport’s runway. From July 14 to August 18 the complete airport will be closed and all flights will be directed to Kaunas Airport.
Olaf mentioned another impressive project: Next to the airport, a new area for business and shopping is planned – the VNO Business and Retail Park. This provides more possibilities for the passengers and the synergies between the Park and the Airport are obvious. Currently, there is only one hotel next to the airport, in the new park there will be more. The concept: a city within an airport.
The airport has continued to make great efforts to satisfy the passengers, to improve the travel experience: In December 2016 for example, the “Customer Day” took place. The Airport team surprised the passengers with hot beverages, snacks, kitchen linen and other small holiday gifts.
Olaf Martens: “We want to work as efficient as possible. We want to reduce the passengers’ stress and make them happy. It’s important to score with something like that“. A small cinema is also available for the passengers onsite.
I also wanted to know more about Olaf Martens himself. He is German and for me it was really interesting to learn why he moved to Lithuania… He told me that he’s been living in the Baltic country since 1992. At that time, he was on businss trip in Lithuania, he liked it and stayed. He also mentioned that he has experienced the whole development of the city and country in the past 25 years: “The Lithuanians have managed it. Without any help from outside, they’ve developed from a country of the Sovjet republic to a NATO member and introduced the Euro.”
Over the next weeks, we will be sharing with you a “portrait” of the present status of development in the Baltic city of Vilnius. You will find the stories on www.tmf-dialogue.net, that our content team has gathered around our visit of Convene in February 2017.
Please read more about it here: Vilnius recognises great economic value in supporting the meetings industry!
- our report about Convene: “Convene in Vilnius: modern, efficient and personal”
- and our story about venues in Vilnius: “Excellent venues in Vilnius – LITEXPO and Modern Art Center”
Your contact in Vilnius:
Head of Vilnius Tourism and Convention Bureau
Go Vilnius | The official international economic
development agency of the City of Vilnius
tel. +370 5 212 1833
Your contact at tmf:
Project Manger Content & PR
+49 931 9002 114