Airlines are reducing theirs this winter flights map. In addition to the usual seasonal variations, some lines that serve passengers at any time of the year are closed. The Irish airline Raynair alone serves 6 regular routes.
Popular summer season destinations are closed
Due to the pronounced cyclicality of the winter season, which in aviation begins in November, some popular destinations of Lithuania in the summer season, such as Greece, Crete, Croatia, etc., are usually closed, which are likely to be reopened in the next summer season.
According to the flight search sites of low-cost airlines, from September 24. there are no more Wizzair flights from Vilnius to Split (Croatia), the Greek cities of Santorini and Zakynthos, and from October 29 and to Athens. The last plane of the season will take off from Nice (France) on October 28.
Ryanair from October 29 is closing three routes from Kaunas: Rimini (Italy), Rhodes (Greece), Palma (Spain) and from Vilnius to Athens (Greece).
“In aviation, the year is divided into two seasons: summer and winter, they are quite different. The winter season is always less intense – during the summer season, popular destinations in southern Europe are stopped for winter or their intensity is reduced, and passengers from Lithuania seeking warmth are offered destinations charter flights further south: Egypt, Tenerife, etc.,” comments Marius, Lithuanian Airports Communications Manager Zelenius.
Normal steering also stops
However, in addition to these usual seasonal route changes, some airlines are also closing other routes they used to carry passengers during the winter season.
Ryanair is suspending flights from Vilnius to Frankfurt Hahn Airport at the end of October. The last flight is October 29. Another airline, Lufthansa, will continue to serve Frankfurt.
Also, since the end of October, there are no more Ryanair flights from Vilnius to Liverpool (UK) and from October 27. from Kaunas to Naples (Italy). However, Ryanair flies to Liverpool and will continue to fly from Kaunas.
Additionally, Ryanair is closing three flights from Lithuania to cities in Eastern Europe. From October 29, the Kaunas-Budapest (Hungary) link which operated for a year, the Vilnius-Gdansk (Poland) link which operated during a summer season, as well as Vilnius-Warsaw (Poland) no longer exist. Polish “LOT” airlines will continue to fly in the latter direction.
“Due to tax decisions taken by the Hungarian government, Ryanair has decided to significantly reduce routes to the capital of this country. The company is canceling flights not only from Kaunas, but also from 7 other airports. The rest of the directions mentioned ( Gdansk and Warsaw – editor’s note) have been included in the company’s summer flight schedule and, as planned, will be stopped at the end of the summer air season – in October”, comments the LTOU representative.
In the aviation podcast “Prisiskraidēm”, aviation expert Simon Bartkus notes that it is no longer profitable for the airline to continue carrying passengers in these directions.
“It can already be called a trend. He tried once more, but he saw that no one from Lithuania to Eastern Europe needs (to fly – editor’s note) or does not need it very cheap, for which it is not worth stealing.
Silent closure of flights from Vilnius to Gdansk. It was not the first attempt: Wizz air flew in 2017, and in 2019. closed. Now that Ryanair is no longer able to fly to Ukraine, the Vilnius-Kyiv flights have been changed to Vilnius-Gdansk, but the flights have remained for one summer: from May to the end of October.
“Ryanair has planned differently and until a week ago was selling tickets for the whole winter season for flights from Kaunas to Warsaw, they will also be closed at the end of October,” teaches the aviation expert.
He mentioned that since autumn the flights of the airline “Norwegian” from Palanga to Copenhagen are no longer available, this direction was opened only at the beginning of summer. As before, SAS will continue to fly passengers from Palanga to Copenhagen.
Latvian airline AirBaltic also announced the suspension of scheduled flights to Hamburg, Oslo, Dublin and London Gatwick Airport from September.
LTOU: Dropped due to extremely fierce competition
LTOU explains airline decisions to close certain routes.
“When evaluating the end of the summer season, it should also be noted that some companies are making certain changes in their flight geography due to extremely fierce competition in the market. A significant increase in the prices of fuel forces companies to very critically evaluate available routes, so they are likely to abandon less popular routes or ones for which there is a lot of competition,” says LTOU representative Mr. Zelenius.
As he assures, such suspensions have very little influence on the results of Lithuanian airports.
“In the first case (rejecting less popular destinations – editor’s note) the number of passengers is too small to significantly affect the overall results, in the second case (due to strong competition – editor’s note) there is no flights from Lithuania to popular destinations, such as London, Dublin or Oslo an airline that takes care of these passengers,” he notes.
New directions will be added to the map
Nevertheless, airlines are also planning new destinations for the winter season. Two are known to date: Ryanair plans to launch flights from Vilnius to Turin, and the Vilnius-Grenoblis route from Wizzair.
“In winter, there is also a demand for ski destinations – these are resorts located in the Alps of Germany, Austria, Italy or France,” notes Mr Zelenius.
According to him, intensive negotiations are still underway regarding other directions for the winter and the next summer season.
Source: The Delfi