Experts warn highest bidder not best as Lithuania seeks operator for airports

Vilnius Airport
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Airport analyst David J. Bentley of the Centre for Aviation (CAPA) told the business daily Verslo Žinios that Lithuania should be very careful in choosing a partner.

The country’s airports have enough potential to compete with other regional hubs, he said, but that would require a concessionaire that could manage them well. The highest bidder might not be the best manager, according to Bentley.

He said that the Lithuanian government must make sure the terms of the concession agreement do not deter the strongest market players.

Moreover, potential concessionaires might have doubts about the potential of the airports in Vilnius and Kaunas, according to Bentley.

Passenger flows in Vilnius Airport have been growing fast and the airport will soon be working at full capacity. Expanding the airport and building additional runways is technically impossible, however.

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