Lithuania’s capital airport signs ACL to manage its slots in 2019

lithuanias-capital-airport VNO has been supporting 60 scheduled routes (Vilnius Airport)

Lithuania’s Vilnius Airport (IATA code VNO) has contracted UK-based Airport Coordination Ltd (ACL) for the management of its flight schedules slots facilitation. The agreement follows a competitive tender and comes into force from the end of March 2019, which coincides with the start of the IATA summer timetable.

Lithuanian capital’s gateway instigated the move to managed slot allocation as it matures into IATA Level 2 airport status, handling 3.8 million passengers last year, 3.3 million of them travelling on scheduled routes.

It has already experienced a 17 per cent year-on-year traffic increase during the first half of 2018 and is on course to carry 4.7 million passengers by year end, the equivalent of a 24 per cent increase over 2017.

Welcoming the new partnership with ACL, Dainius Ciuplys, director of Vilnius Airport comments: “They [Airport Coordination Limited] will help us with our primary aim, which is to manage our flight peaks and maximise the infrastructure of the airport, thereby enabling us to deliver the best service for our passengers. ACL will help us to negotiate with airlines on take-off and landing slots to achieve the best result.”

Vilnius is introducing slot allocation management at a time when existing customer airlines are adding frequencies. “The Baltics is now a strong region for air traffic and is enjoying increased popularity for travel – for both tourism and business passengers. We are looking forward to working with this dynamic, forward-thinking airport in Lithuania,” observes ACL’s managing director Mike Robinson.

From this summer, VNO has been supporting 60 scheduled routes, the majority of them year-round, with passenger growth led by low-cost carriers Ryanair, Wizz Air and legacy airlines LOT, airBaltic, Finnair and Turkish Airlines, amongst others. This winter it will welcome additional new scheduled services to Amman, Marrakech and Treviso. In May, Kazakhstan’s SCAT Airlines introduced flights to Astana.

Vilnius Airport, which can trace its history back to 1932, is investing for future growth. After the reconstruction of its runway last year, the airport has focused on improving the main passenger terminal, originally built in 1954. From this autumn passengers will experience faster and more convenient services, together with a wider range of goods and facilities. The airport currently features two terminals offering 28 check-in desks, seven security lines, 11 boarding gates and six jet bridges.

ACL is an independent slots coordinator headquartered at Staines, Middlesex, near London’s Heathrow Airport. The company already supports 39 airports worldwide, including 24 London and regional UK airports; Dublin, Cork and Shannon in the Republic of Ireland; Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Queenstown and Wellington in New Zealand; Dubai International and Dubai World Central; Poland’s Poznan and Warsaw Airports; Luxembourg Airport; and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

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