Embraer 195, LOT,
Photo: LOT

LOT launches London City-Vilnius flights

The Polish carrier has launched a new direct service from Lithuania’s capital Vilnius to London City Airport, after winning a tender from the Lithuanian government to operate the route.

LOT Polish Airlines launched a new direct connection from London City Airport to the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, on May 1.

The carrier is offering up to 12 flights a week using its new 106-seat Embraer 190 aircraft. There will be two flights per day on weekdays and one flight per day at the weekend.

It is the first route to offer business class on a direct flight to the city, as well as the first to link Vilnius with London’s business centre airport so close to the heart of the city.

However, the new Vilnius-London service will not only be for business, as East London has the highest population of Lithuanian-born people anywhere in the UK.

Adrian Kubicki, director of LOT corporate communications, said: “Our nearly double-daily schedule is perfectly suited to the needs of customers travelling for business, but given the fact that many Lithuanians live in the eastern parts of London, this is a great connection also for the leisure passengers. We are very excited start operations on this route.”

According to Vilnius Tourism, multi-day visits to Vilnius by tourists from the UK grew by more than 20% in 2018.

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius said of the new route: “London City Airport is easily accessible, much like Vilnius airport, and our cities both share a walkable, friendly ambience where history, culture, food and language combine to create a destination of distinction. London and Vilnius are closer than ever.”

Government ties
This link features a public service obligation (PSO), which allows public entities to co-fund flights of special interest within the European Union. The Lithuanian government began work on the tender for this connection as far back as summer 2017, which LOT won late last year.

Peter Downes, aviation director at London City Airport, commented: “We are hugely grateful to the Lithuanian government for encouraging this London-Vilnius connection and specifically choosing London’s most central airport.”

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