LOT wins the tender of the Lithuanian Ministry of Transport to operate services between Vilnius and London City Airport. Tickets will be available once the contract has been signed, which is expected to take place in mid-December. The Polish carrier is ready to fly on this route twice a day using its new Embraer 190 aircraft which are to be delivered in the next month
The connection between Vilnius and London City (LCY) will feature PSO (Public Service Obligation) which allows public entities to co-fund flights of special interest within the EU. The Government of Lithuania began the tender for this connection in summer last year. The Tender Commission has just announced that the bit submitted by LOT met all the criteria imposed by the contracting parties. The connection launch is scheduled to take place on 1 May 2019. LOT will offer 12 flights between Vilnius and London City (LCY) per week (two flights a day, from Monday to Friday, and one flight on Saturdays and Sundays).
London City (LCY) is the best entry point for passengers willing to get to the centre of United Kingdom’s capital city in the quickest and most convenient way while avoiding commuting issues and traffic jams. The airport is located in Royal Docks in London, and so it is the closest to the nearest business centre of London: just under 10 km from City and Canary Wharf.
“For passengers travelling between Lithuania and Great Britain, the new connection is a perfect alternative to connections to Luton and Stansted airports, which are more distant. Moreover, East London is a place where many Lithuanians live, which is why the launch of the new connection is expected to attract a lot of interest and contribute to a strengthening of relations between Lithuania and Great Britain” says Adrian Kubicki, Director of LOT Corporate Communications.
“It is a unique case in EU when the flight mechanism aimed at attracting business travellers will be supported by the state. We are especially glad of being the first ones, together with our partners, achieving such an important project. Both Lithuania and the UK`s business community have been waiting for so long for the flights that will even cut geographical barrier and significantly shorten travel time between Vilnius and London. Comfortable flights at the appropriate time will definitely increase the flow of business travellers coming to Lithuania” adds Aurimas Stikliunas, Head of Aviation Services of Lithuanian Airports.
Already today, LOT has the most extensive offer for passengers travelling to and from Vilnius among legacy air carriers. In addition to the new connection between Lithuanian’s capital and London City, the carrier offers five daily services between Vilnius and Warsaw. They allow travelling conveniently via LOT hub at Chopin Airport in many directions, including London Heathrow (LHR), to which LOT offers three flights every day.
As of January, LOT will be launching a direct connection from Warsaw to London City (LCY) which will be well connected with flights to and Vilnius and Kaunas. It ensures a high flexibility, e.g. in the event of a cancelled Vilnius-London City flight, LOT is able to quickly put the passengers to London through Warsaw.
Due to a short runway and steep approach in London City, only a few aircraft including the Embraer 190, are being certified to operate at LCY. Especially with its LCY operations in mind, the Polish carrier decided to lease four new Embraer 190 aircraft from NAC. All four aircraft will be delivered directly from the manufacturer’s plant in Brasil in December 2018 and shall offer 106 seats.
LOT will operate its E190 aircraft operated services to LCY from three cities. In addition to newly announced services from Vilnius, LOT will offer new services between LCY and Warsaw as well as Budapest.
As of 7 January, LOT will introduce flights between London City and Warsaw. 12 weekly operations have been planned to cater business passengers needs: two flights between Monday and Friday as well one service on Saturday and Sunday. The Warsaw-London City connection has been announced by LOT in mid-June as its 100th service offered in the network of the Polish carrier.
As of 18 February, the Polish carrier will take its passengers willing to travel between London City and Budapest. As in the case of Warsaw and Vilnius, there are 12 weekly services planned.
Planned schedule for Warsaw, Vilnius, and Budapest to LCY offers passengers same day return trips opportunity.
“This announcement, hot on the heels of Warsaw and Budapest, not only demonstrates LOT’s commitment to the airport but solidifies our credentials as London’s bridge to Europe. We are hugely grateful to the Lithuanian government for helping to make a route happen that will not only better connect businesses, but also the Lithuanian community with their family and friends, whether in East London or Vilnius” says Richard Hill, London City Airport’s CCO.
LOT is currently the fastest growing airline in Europe. The carrier offers 105 scheduled connections (the newest one, Warsaw-Beirut, was announced in mid-November). Since the beginning of 2016, LOT has announced the launch of over 60 routes, including from Warsaw to Miami, Los Angeles, Newark, Seoul, Tokyo and Singapore, from Budapest to New York City and Chicago, from Kraków to Chicago, and from Rzeszów to Newark.
The carrier has a total of 75 planes in its fleet, and this number will continue to grow, not only because of the new Embraer 190 aircraft which are to be delivered in December to provide flights to London City; the carrier is also waiting for the delivery of narrow-body Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, whose number will increase from the present 4 to 12 by the end of 2019. By the end of 2019, the fleet will be extended by four subsequent wide-body B787 Dreamliner aircraft and, as a result, the number of these aeroplanes will increase from 11 to 15.
In 2017 LOT carried over 6.8 million passengers in total, growing more than 25 per cent versus 2016. It is planned to reach the level of 8.9 million passengers this year and to exceed the 10 million mark in 2019.
Tickets for flights from Warsaw and Budapest to London City may be purchased through all sales channels, including www.LOT.com, via LOT Contact Center, and from agents. The Vilnius-London City offer will be open for sales in all channels once the contract between the Ministry of Transport of Lithuania and LOT has been signed, which is expected to take place in mid-December.
Warsaw, 27 November 2018
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