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|Vilnius International Airport
Tarptautinis Vilniaus oro uostas
|IATA: VNO – ICAO: EYVI|
|Operator||State Enterprise Tarptautinis Vilniaus oro uostas|
|Elevation AMSL||646 ft / 197 m|
Vilnius Airport (IATA: VNO, ICAO: EYVI) (Lithuanian: Vilniaus oro uostas) is the international airport of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. It is located 5.9 km (3.7 mi) south of the city. It is the largest of the four commercial airports in Lithuania by passenger traffic. Today, Vilnius Airport is one of the fastest-growing airports in Europe. With one runway and an estimated 2 million passengers a year, Vilnius International Airport serves as a base for Air Lituanica, Wizz Air and Small Planet Airlines, focus city to Ryanair and features a number of European regular and low-cost airlines, offering direct and connecting flights to many destinations.
The present-day Vilnius International Airport is a state owned enterprise under the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The airport began operations on 17 August 1932 as Wilno – Porubanek (today Kirtimai). Before the World War II it operated routes between Vilnius and Warsaw as well as a route to Riga. On 15 April 1939 a new route to Kaunas was inaugurated.
Lithuanian Airlines (branded later as FlyLAL) was established as the Lithuanian flag carrier following independence in 1991 and inherited the Vilnius-based Aeroflot fleet of Tupolev Tu-134, Yakovlev Yak-40, Yak-42 and Antonov An-24, An-26 aircraft, but rapidly replaced these Soviet-era aircraft types with modern Boeing 737 and Boeing 757 jets and Saab 340, Saab 2000 turboprops. Operations were suspended effective 17 January 2009 as a result of growing financial difficulties. With the collapse of flyLAL, the airport lost its scheduled services to Amsterdam, Budapest, Istanbul, Madrid and Tbilisi. flyLAL used to operate to Dublin, Frankfurt, London, Milan and Paris in competition with Aer Lingus, airBaltic or Lufthansa.
AirBaltic, the national airline of Latvia and under Scandinavian Airlines part-ownership, opened up a second base at Vilnius in 2004 to complement its Riga operation and became the largest carrier at Vilnius, using Boeing 737 jets and Fokker F50 turboprops. At one point, airBaltic operated to 19 destinations from Vilnius but, in 2009, the network covered only three destinations served by two aircraft based at Vilnius.
Vilnius International Airport is the main hub for Air Lituanica, Small Planet Airlines, Grand Cru Airlines, and Aviavilsa and secondary hub for Wizz Air. It used to be a main hub for Star1 Airlines until their end of operations in September 2010 and Aurela until Aurela had lost its flight license. The airport was a secondary hub for airBaltic, Estonian Air and Skyways Express until they closed the bases in Vilnius.
On 30 June 2013 Air Lituanica began its flights from the Vilnius International Airport.
The airport is notable for its 1950s arrivals terminal building. It is a standard Soviet airport terminal design, originally intended for an airport with up to 20 aircraft movements per day. On the outside, it is decorated with sculptures of soldiers, workers and aviators, while inside walls and ceilings feature wreaths, bay leaves and stars, and until early 1990s, the Soviet hammer and sickle, typical decor for Soviet public buildings of early post-war years.
In November 2007, the new 1,000 m2 (11,000 sq ft) terminal building was opened for operations which improved the capacity and facilities of the airport and complies with the requirements of the Schengen agreement. The passenger throughput of the terminal increased, passenger service quality was improved and more stringent aviation security measures were implemented. The new area of the renovated passenger terminal now reaches 3,462 m2 (37,260 sq ft). It is equipped with 6 passenger boarding bridges, modern passenger check-in equipment, new travel value and duty-free shops were opened as well as business lounge and VIP Lounge.
Airlines and destinations
|Grand Cru Airlines||Seasonal charter: Antalya, Bodrum, Enfidha, Heraklion, Paphos|
|SmartLynx Airlines||Seasonal charter: Bilbao, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Rijeka, Varna, Faro|
|Small Planet Airlines||Seasonal charter: Antalya, Barcelona, Bergamo, Bodrum, Dalaman, Funchal, Gazipasa, Geneva (begins 3 January 2015), Heraklion, Hurghada, Lamezia Terme (begins 11 September 2015), Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Malaga, Marsa Alam, Monastir, Mostar, Rhodes, Palma de Mallorca, Salzburg, Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba, Tenerife-South, Nice, Enfidha, Rijeka, Dubai, Agadir, Faro, Burgas, Varna, Kos, Dalaman, Bodrum, Catania, Larnaca, Geneva, Cagliari|
operated by Cargo Air
Busiest airports by passenger traffic in the Baltic States
Direct train services between Vilnius Airport Railway Station (referred to as "Oro uostas" in the schedules) and the central station of Vilnius were started in October 2008. Distance from the Airport to the Central Railway Station is 4.3 kilometres (2.7 mi), the journey takes 7 minutes. This is the fastest way to reach the Airport from the city center. Trains run daily from 5:45 up to 21:10 The intervals between the services range from 37 minutes during peak time to 1 hour 31 minutes during off-peak hours. One-way ticket costs 3.50 Lt (1.01 Euro).
Buses connect the airport with Vilnius Central Station, city centre and northern areas of the city. The direct intercity express services operate from the Airport to Klaipėda and Riga (via Panevėžys and Bauska).
|Bus||Vilniaus Viešasis Transportas||3G||Airport – City centre – Šeškinė – Fabijoniškės||www.stops.lt||Express service. Limited stops.|
|Vilniaus Viešasis Transportas||1||Airport – F.Vaitkaus str. – Central station||www.stops.lt|
|Vilniaus Viešasis Transportas||2||Airport – F.Vaitkaus str. – Central Station – Vikingų str. – Airport||www.stops.lt|
|Vilniaus Viešasis Transportas||4||Kirtimai – Airport (Rodiūnios kelias bus stop) – Central station||www.stops.lt||Bus stop "Rodiūnios kelio" is located near the airport hotel, about 5 minutes walk from airport arrivals terminal|
|Vilniaus Viešasis Transportas||88||Airport – City center – Old town – Užupis – shopping center Europa||www.stops.lt|
|TOKS||--||Airport – Central station||www.toks.lt|
|Keleivių.lt||--||Klaipėda to – Vilnius airport||www.keleiviu.lt|
|Ollex||--||Airport – Klaipėda||www.ollex.lt|
|FLYBUS||--||Airport – Panevėžys – Bauska – Riga (Latvia)||www.flybus.lv|
|Train||Lietuvos Geležinkeliai||--||Airport – Central station||www.litrail.lt|
Incidents and accidents
- Scandinavian Airlines Flight 2748, operated with Dash-8-400 (LN-RDS) with 48 passengers and 4 crew members, took off from Copenhagen Airport on 12 September 2007. It was heading to Palanga, Lithuania, but was diverted to Vilnius Airport (better suited for an emergency landing) when landing gear problems were discovered before landing. Upon touchdown, the right landing gear collapsed. All passengers and crew were evacuated safely. The local officials at the Vilnius International Airport noted that this was the most serious incident in recent years. This accident, along with the Aalborg accident just days earlier, caused all SAS Dash 8–400 planes to be grounded until the beginning of October.
- "EAD Basic". Ead.eurocontrol.int. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
- L, J (19 November 2014). "Ukraine International Airlines Adds New Routes in S15". Airline Route. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
- "WIZZ AIR CONTINUES EXPANSION IN VILNIUS - 3 NEW ROUTES AND FREQUENCY INCREASES FROM APRIL 2015". Wizz Air. 6 August 2014.
Media related to Vilnius International Airport at Wikimedia Commons