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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Wednesday, 08.12.2021, 14:04

Poland's LOT wins London business flight tender in Lithuania

BC, Vilnius, 26.11.2018.Print version
Poland's LOT has won the tender called by Lithuania's state-run airport operator Lithuanian Airports for business flights between Vilnius and London City, informed LETA/BNS.

"The winner was selected on Friday and it's Polish airline LOT. If we sign a contact by the end of this year, flights will be carried out twice a week to London City Airport," told Transport Minister Rokas Masiulis. "It's the flight Lithuania's business community has been asking for several years as one of the missing flights."

Economy Minister Virginijus Sinkevicius told a contract with LOT would be signed for five years.

"It's very important for us to have it as a regular flight. It’s really an investors' flight, there are big names with are talking to and negotiating. We’ve said that we'll have that business flight, as with all due respect for the existing airlines, but it's too-expensive for us to keep company presidents outside at 6 a.m. That business flight was much needed, and I'm glad that my team and I have managed to do everything so quickly," Sinkevicius said.

According to Masiulis, an aid mechanism will be applied to the planned flight for the first time in Europe.

"We'll have the maximum amount set. For example, if the planes fly empty, the maximum amount will be paid. The more the planes are filled, the less we'll have to compensate. If they are full, we won't have to pay anything," Masiulis said.

The Economy Ministry says the maximum amount won't exceed 3 mln euros a year.

According to Masiulis, it has taken two years to convince the European Commission to allow applying such a mechanism as the EU is skeptical about state aid for flights. But, the minister said, the Commission have its permission, being aware that it's not about competition with other airport, but it's a necessity for Lithuania.

If the London flights prove successful, a similar mechanism will be applied to other flights. "The next flights Invest Lithuania are asking are Munich and Paris," Masiulis said.

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