airBaltic will introduce eight new routes for the next summer season, improving connections to the Baltic region. Two new direct routes from Paris and Munich to Vilnius will be added as well as six to Riga. Flights from Paris will start on 26 March 2017 and will operate four times per week. The Munich flights will begin on 27 March with a frequency of three times per week.
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of the airline says: “airBaltic serves as an important link between the Baltic region and the rest of the world. As part of our Horizon 2021 business plan we will improve our connections to key airports by opening at least eight new routes in 2017. In addition, we will further improve our service on existing routes by gradually phasing in our all-new Canadian-built Bombardier CS300 jets. These will become a distinguishing feature of our airline, which is set to become the world’s first operator to use this state-of-the art aircraft.”
airBaltic serves over 60 destinations to different cities in Europe, the CIS and the Middle East. In Lithuania, airBaltic offers connections from Vilnius and Palanga airports to Stockholm, Berlin, Amsterdam and Riga. In addition, airBaltic also offers new direct flights from Tallinn and Riga.
Hilton Worldwide recently announced that they will bring the upscale DoubleTree by Hilton brand to Vilnius by 2019.
Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President Development, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide said: “Having announced our first Lithuanian property just last month, we are pleased to be reaffirming our commitment to the market through this agreement with the Vičiūnai Group to develop our first full service hotel in the country. International upscale brands account for less than 6% of hotel rooms in Vilnius, so introducing DoubleTree by Hilton to the city will help the city cater to the growing number of business and leisure travellers seeking higher quality accommodation.”
The 175 guest room hotel forms part of a wider project, which the Vičiūnai Group has invested over €20 million in, and will also create new public spaces designed to attract residents and visitors to the city. Alongside the hotel, a modern outdoor terrace will be built to connect the property to the Vilnius Energy and Technology Museum, which will also benefit from a modernised 1000 square metre exposition hall.
The hotel will also host a conference centre and spa, swimming pool, a restaurant, and a rooftop Sky Bar overlooking Gediminas Castle, the Cathedral and the Old Town. The new hotel will be designed by architect Algirdas Kaušpėdas, and built by the Vičiūnai Group-owned real estate development company “Sunrise Kaunas”. Construction of the DoubleTree by Hilton Vilnius City Centre will begin early next year.
This news follows Hilton Worldwide’s recent announcement of their plans to bring their midscale 150-room Hilton Garden Inn hotel to Vilnius.
It is estimated that Vilnius is expected to create about 1,200 new hotel rooms in the coming years, representing a total increase of 25%.
Built in 1980 and belonging to the cultural heritage of the country, the main halls of LITEXPO are currently under renovation. The work is expected to be completed by April 2017.
The modernisation will significantly increase the size of the main conference hall (Hall 1). The size of the fully renovated hall will expand to 2327 m2, enabling it to host some 2500 delegates in amphitheatre style. The upgrades to the multifunctional hall will allow for it to be easily divided into two sound proof spaces, each accommodating up to 1000 delegates. The opportunity to place chairs in an amphitheatric style will also make the space ideal for various performances, concerts and other recreational events, as well as sport activities.
The four smaller conference halls will accommodate up to 60 delegates each, with possibility to merge them into two rooms with at total capacity of 150 delegates in each. Nearby, there will be a new board meeting room with a round table setup.
Hall 2, with a space of 669 m2 and Hall 1.1, with capacity for up to 250 delegates, will remain in the complex, and will also be upgraded. Each hall will be upgraded with advanced sound, video and lighting equipment.
The catering space will be doubled and will not only guarantee quality food, but also provide event participants with a great atmosphere for networking.
After the modernisation process, the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre LITEXPO will meet the highest quality standards and become an even more attractive venue for large-scale international events while contributing to the development of the meetings industry in Lithuania
July 14 - August 18, 2017 Vilnius Airport will be carrying out reconstruction of the runway. Aircrafts will not be landing in Vilnius during the specified period, and communication with Lithuania will be ensured through other air gateways - most of the airlines are planning to move their flights to Kaunas and Palanga for this period.
The runway at Vilnius Airport will be fully reconstructed. Dating back to 1958, last time the runway was reconstructed 20 years ago. Because of some specific works, it will be not possible to carry out everything during the night time only, without affecting flights - high-quality works will require a little more than a month’s time.
The best time for reconstruction has been chosen considering various factors, as the majority of the works require higher air temperature with as little precipitation as possible. For this reason, the analysis of weather conditions in 2012-2014 has been carried out indicating that the least rainy days occur exactly in the selected July-August period. Some preparatory works not affecting the flights and taking around 3-4 months will start in spring already.
While preparing for reconstruction, Lithuanian Airports carried out an airlines survey revealing that 13 out of 15 airlines, currently operating in the capital, are going to move their flights from Vilnius to other Lithuanian cities.
‘We are emphasising that currently airlines are not stating anything officially, however, their intentions are rather optimistic. We are actively communicating with airlines, planning changes in the infrastructure and trying to make the reconstruction period as easy and convenient for both the airlines and passengers as possible’, - says Artūras Stankevičius, director of Vilnius Airport.
It is expected that Vilnius Airport is going to welcome almost 4,350 flights with over 400 thousand passengers during 14 July - 18 August 2017. Based on the current data, 77 per cent of these flights and 90 per cent of passengers will be moved to other cities.
Kaunas Airport is planning to build an additional temporary infrastructure in order to provide the best service for so many passengers. The additional infrastructure will consist of an arrival terminal, a departure terminal with areas for check-in, aviation security screening, the State Border Guard services, Customs, boarding gates and other typical airport areas. It is also planned to expand parking lots and arrange temporary parking areas. In 2016 a reconstruction of the existing ramp of Kaunas Airport will be carried out thus providing the sufficient number of aircraft parking stands. Palanga Airport will serve more passengers without an additional infrastructure.
The first preparatory works will already start next year. The runway will be reconstructed step by step. After the reconstruction ends, some completion works will be carried our until the middle of October without affecting flights.