According to Šimašius, 7 out of 9 destinations which were serviced by Air Lituanica may be reached with other air carriers. However, flights will not be possible temporarily on two destinations, Hamburg and Prague. Meanwhile flights to Munich will land at another airport.
It was announced that a flight promotion fund would be established in order to attract air carriers to Vilnius. Šimašius says the Government is ready to allocate EUR 1 million for the fund, while Vilnius City Municipality could contribute another EUR 1 million. It is unclear when the fund will become operational. The mayor says a legal form of the fund must be considered, which would not contravene the European Union’s law. It would also improve the coordination of air travel, as well as Vilnius’ and Lithuania’s marketing issues.
Šimašius said that presentation of Vilnius and Lithuania abroad as a place to spend holidays or a weekend in does not correspond too well with its actual accessibility.
Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Arijandas Šliupas said that the fund could contribute to marketing, while the money could be allocated from various interested sources, such as municipalities, the national budget or private companies.
“The creation of the fund or its operation would not provide a 100-percent guarantee that certain routes would open,” warned the deputy minister.
Vilnius mayor said the plan on how the fund would operate could be proposed this year.