Vilnius Airport reopens after reconstruction
Vilnius Airport runway reconstruction has been successfully completed, as scheduled, on August 17th, 23:59 p.m. The renovated runway was opened yesterday during the official ceremony with invited guests that took place on the same runway. Today, after a break of 35 days, most of the flights are coming back to Vilnius and will operate on their regular schedule.
“We are glad to announce we have successfully finished this unique project of national importance. Only because of the professionalism of specialists and their enormous efforts this project turned into reality. I am absolutely proud of the whole team of Lithuanian Airports – all of us were united and focused more than ever before. I believe this reconstruction became the biggest event in the whole Lithuanian aviation market”, - states CEO of Lithuanian Airports Gediminas Almantas.
G. Almantas notes that 20 years have already passed after the last reconstruction of the runway at Vilnius Airport. Thus, now reconstruction was necessary not only for assurance of efficient activities at the main country`s air gateway, but also for assurance of passengers` safety.
Vilnius Airport reconstruction, which took 35 days, included replacing the old pavement, reinforcing its foundation, installing new drainage and rainwater collection systems and reconstruction the lighting control system. Since today, when Vilnius Airport is already reopened, final reconstruction works that will not interfere with the operation of the airport will continue until autumn.
During the reconstruction, the flights were diverted to Kaunas Airport which had started preparing for considerably expanding flows at the beginning of this year. In Kaunas Airport, additional terminals were built, parking area was expanded, additional staff was transferred from Vilnius Airport. In total, Kaunas Airport served about 4000 flights and 360 thsd of passengers during 35 days of reconstruction.
The renovated runway of Vilnius Airport was tested by a special British aircraft until it has been announced Vilnius Airport is ready to operate full time. Reconstruction works cost 19 mln EUR.
The first planes in reopened Vilnius Airport landed in a first hour after the official end of the reconstruction – Air Baltic plane from Riga successfully landed on Friday night, 00:15 a.m., LOT from Warsaw – 00:55 a.m. The first planes from Vilnius took off on Friday morning – 06:35 a.m. LOT to Warsaw and 08:10 a.m. Air Baltic to Amsterdam.
About Lithuanian Airports
Three air gates in Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga belong to the network of Lithuanian Airports. In 2016, they served 4.8 million passengers and 52 000 flights. During the summer season, 17 airlines fly from Lithuanian Airports in 69 directions to 59 cities in 26 European countries. According to the data of the Airports Council International (ACI Europe), Lithuanian Airports contribute about 2.5 percent to Lithuania’s GDP.