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Air links drive Lithuania’s high-tech growth

Air travel intelligence firm OAG will create a new development centre in the country’s second city Kaunas.

Lithuania continues to take advantage of its strong technical talent by attracting major global players who require high quality IT professionals. A major air travel intelligence company has now revealed it is joining them.

Ryanair, Uber, Barclays, Nasdaq and others have chosen to set up offices in Lithuania in recent years, buoyed up by the increasing quality of its air travel services.

Now OAG, which has offices in the UK, USA, Singapore, Japan and China, has announced it will create a new development centre based in the Baltic country’s second city Kaunas.

It says that direct services to most of Europe’s major cities “certainly played an important role in the decision”, with Kaunas and London Luton, where OAG’s Global HQ is based, connected by daily Ryanair and Wizz Air flights.

Seat capacity to and from Lithuania has been growing at an average annual rate of 9.2% for the last five years, almost double the EU average rate of 4.7%.

“As the city of Kaunas has been developing a cluster of activity around research, innovation and technology, the airport is also gearing up to meet the travel needs of the startups, enterprises and investors which are emerging, as well as the leisure needs of the resident population,” OAG enthuses.

Double airports
In the last year alone, airline capacity in Kaunas, a city of 300,000, has increased by 23% and a network that already covered nine countries has been extended to Bulgaria and Greece.

With Kaunas situated just over 100 kilometres from Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, there are many more options for connectivity from there, OAG emphasises.

Vilnius Airport has been growing capacity at an average rate of 13% for five years and now boasts a network with 62 destinations in 27 countries.

One of the local rising stars of the Kaunas technology eco-system is Vladas Lasa, founder of Elinta, a disruptive electronics and automated systems company that has developed electric cars for Lithuania. He recognises the country’s potential to be a European base for a company like Tesla. With a one-stop air service from Vilnius to San Francisco via Copenhagen, “maybe that might just happen”, OAG says.

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