Ryanair commercial director David O’Brien said the system that Lithuania had developed which aims to stimulate growth in all airports had to be changed because it was much more beneficial to Vilnius Airport than other airports. The airline said its efforts to boost passenger numbers at Kaunas were not paying off.
The Lithuanian state‘s new strategy was the reason why Ryanair had switched flights to Birmingham and Malta from Kaunas to Vilnius, O‘Brien said. Ryanair recently announced a €180 million investment in a new base at Vilnius Airport with many new routes but left its operations at Kaunas airport untouched.
However, Indrė Baltrušaitienė, the head of the communications and marketing department at Lithuanian airports said Kaunas airport will end up empty as at the end of March Ryanair’s biggest competitor low cost airline Wizz Air will launch flights from Kaunas.
“Ryanair is looking for the most advantageous option for themselves, and we are looking for the most advantageous option for Lithuanian passengers so that they can fly to as many directions and choose from as many airlines as possible,” said the representative of Lithuanian airports.
Ryanair‘s representative also warned Lithuania about choosing a single company to control all the country‘s airports.
O’Brien said Lithuania should responsibly choose a private investor to manage Lithuanian airports. “I would suggest to not choose the company that offers the most money, but one that can promise the greatest flow of passengers, because this is more important to the country,” said O’Brien.