One year on from the merger, the results certainly indicate it has been successful. Figures for the first half of 2015 show that passenger numbers across the three Lithuanian airports grew 10 percent year-on-year to 1.9 million. “The new organisation has implemented a new management structure and processes, non-aeronautical revenue-driven projects, and strategic development projects like AEROHUB KUN,” Jurate Baltrušaitytė, CCO Lithuanian Airports, explained.
AEROHUB KUN is the key project in the development strategy for Kaunas Airport. It primarily focuses on MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) service providers, OEM (original equipment manufacturer) and other spare part manufacturers and traders, as well as aircraft manufacturers and training service providers. “We see AEROHUB KUN hosting a cluster of airspace-related services and activities, enjoying the benefits Kaunas can deliver and exploiting the synergies of members to the best common advantage,” Baltrušaitytė said.
EUR 7.2 million has been invested in the first phase, and these initial works have created a new taxiway and apron, paving the way for the start of operations by the first investors. Lithuanian Airports is in discussions with several potential investors – mainly MRO service providers – and expects the first agreement to be signed by the end of 2015.
“The project is being presented and promoted internationally, and we are pursuing every lead on the list,” Baltrušaitytė said. “In addition to a strategically-favourable geographic location, we can ensure excellent infrastructure. KUN has a 3,250 metres runway, and there are no curfews, no noise, slot or other restrictions. Meanwhile, Lithuanian investment promotion agency Invest Lithuania consults with, and provides full support to, foreign investors which start operations in Lithuania. One of our key competitive advantages is our multi-lingual staff, with engineering expertise, whose average salary is competitive compared with Western European countries.”