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LUA-2013-08 - INTRO-A
LUA-2013-08 - INTRO-B
LUA-2013-09 - 2ND EMB-175
LUA-LOGO - 2013-08
LUA-ROUTE MAP - 2013-08
Formed and started operations in 2013. Domestic, regional & international, scheduled & charter, passenger & cargo jet airplane services.
Vilnius International Airport
Departure Hall 2nd Floor
Rodunios Road Str. 2
LT-02189, Vilnius, Lithuania
LITHUANIA WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1990 AND COVERS AN AREA OF 65,200 SQ KM. ITS POPULATION IS 3.8 MILLION, ITS CAPITAL CITY IS VILNIUS, AND ITS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE IS LITHUANIAN.
Vilnius is the capital and the largest city of Lithuania. It is also the municipal center of Vilnius county and the surrounding region. It is worth mentioning that the city is situated in the actual geographical center of the European continent. Vilnius boasts impressive historical, archaeological and cultural heritage as well as numerous breathtaking churches built in different eras. The city hosts countless cultural and entertainment events for people of various tastes and interests. Moreover, Vilnius is the fastest developing capital in the Baltic States with a real potential and ambition to become the most attractive political, economic and cultural center in the context of the surrounding neighboring countries. Its old town is one of the largest in Eastern Europe and in 1994 due to its archaeological uniqueness as well as distinctive historical aura, it was placed on the (UNESCO) World Heritage List.
Vilnius is a baroque city which is characteristic of a truly cosmopolitan spirit and comfort. In the summer, the city hosts many music festivals for all tastes thus becoming a true capital of entertainment for its citizens and visitors from all over the world. The city is exceptionally beloved by those who appreciate high quality beer, good-looking women and basketball. Vilnius is also a popular choice for exciting stag parties. Those looking for a more culturally enlightening pastime can lose themselves in numerous museums, architectural monuments, churches with angelic sounds of bells and unique souvenir shops located all over the center of Vilnius.
For more on Vilnius, please visit:
May 2013: Air Lituanica (LUA) was officially launched with plans to start operating flights to Amsterdam, Berlin, and Brussels on July 1st. (LUA) is named after "Lituanica," an airplane commanded by Steponas Darius and Stasys Girenas, two pioneer Lithuanian pilots (FC) who flew it on a transAtlantic flight in 1933.
June 2013: The sale of airline flight tickets was launched in early June using Estonian Air (ENA) booking channels.
Air Lituanica (LUA), Europe’s newest airline, which aims at filling the gap between low-cost and full-service carriers in Vilnius (VNO), took off to the skies with the launch of services on the 1,500 km route from the Lithuanian capital to Brussels (BRU). The route, which is expected to benefit from the country’s Presidency of the Council of European Union (EU) starting this July, is offered with six weekly frequencies using a single 76-seat EMB-170 leased from Estonian Air (ENA). After its maiden flight, (LUA) became the first scheduled Lithuanian airline since FlyLAL (LIJ) and Star1 Airlines, who ceased operations in 2009 and 2010, respectively. (LUA) subsequently reported an average passenger load factor of 70% LF on the service after its first week of operation.
EMB-170-100STD (0106, ES-AEB), ex-(OH-LEF), Estonian Air (ENA) leased.
July 2013: Air Lituanica (LUA) started its second route, Vilnius - Amsterdam - Vilnius on July 8th. With these two routes, (LUA) contributes with 2% of the international capacity in the country; as of July 2013, the company ranked 9th in terms of available seats to and from Lithuania.
Ryanair (RYR) is currently the leading carrier in Lithuania and currently accounts for almost 39% of the country’s airline seat capacity. The next two largest carriers in the market are Wizz Air (WZZ) and airBaltic (BAU), which provide about 15% and 8% of the country’s seat capacity. Low cost carriers (LCC)s in total contribute a huge amount of capacity in the country, with six carriers (airBaltic (BAU), Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG), Ryanair (RYR), Wizz Air (WZZ), Wizz Air Ukraine (WAU) and (WOW) Air) currently providing 65% of the country’s overall seat capacity.
(LUA) also plans to start flights to Moscow, Munich and Prague, but no firm dates for the commencement of services to these cities have been disclosed.
(LUA)’s upcoming service to Berlin should see its ranking increase to eighth place ahead of Finnair (FIN) but still behind (LOT) Polish Airlines. If Air Lituanica (LUA) follows through on its expansion plans and has a network of about 10 routes by the end of 2014, it could capture about a 10% share of the market. This would make (LUA) the third largest carrier in the country but still well behind market leaders Ryanair (RYR) and Wizz Air (WZZ).
Simonas Bartkus, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) stated the vision was not for Air Lituanica (LUA) to become the new national carrier of Lithuania, but to be a regional airline connecting Vilnius with points in western Europe, Scandinavia, Russia and the (CIS) with small jets on high frequency rotations and with a two-class product to attract corporate traffic.
Tickets will be offered with online bookings and on Global Distribution Systems (GDS), and in the future, (LUA) may look at even smaller airplane orders to serve thin business routes, especially to Scandinavia, Lithuania’s biggest trading partner. “We are going to offer two classes: service level travel, which will be like economy (Y) with check in and luggage allowance, somewhere between economy (Y) and economy plus (PY). Then there is premium class, which is more like first (F) class and includes fast track,” he said.
Bartkus said the airline was keen to partner with airlines not represented in Lithuania’s market, such as AirFrance (AFA), airberlin (BER), Czech Airlines (CSA), and (KLM), while Air Lituanica (LUA)’s shareholders were likely to be open to the idea of investment from a bigger partner in the carrier.
Air Lituanica (LUA) is owned by the Vilnius city government and private investors and Lithuanian companies.
Erikas Zubrus, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said “Air Lituanica (LUA) has chosen Estonian Air (ENA) as a commercial partner to ensure a wide distribution network throughout the world and to offer connecting flights starting from Vilnius to more than >100 cities.”
(LUA) and (ENA) will also partner in other commercial areas, such as ticketing, revenue management, interline and code share agreements.
“Estonian Air (ENA) is a cost-effective airline and cooperation between the two Baltic airlines will allow us to achieve more efficiency and provide competitive services,” Estonian Air (CEO) Jan Palmer said. Estonian Air (ENA) operates three Bombardier CRJ900s and two E170s, but it has been seeking contract flying for its two remaining E170s.
Air Lituanica (LUA) is aiming to improve Lithuania’s travel links. Within three years of operation, the fledgling carrier is aiming to grow its fleet to four to five airplanes serving 10 - 12 routes from its Vilnius base.
While for now Air Lituanica (LUA) is focusing on building its international network from Vilnius it has mentioned the possibility about potentially also operating from Lithuania's two other domestic bases, Kaunas and Palanga as part of a later phase. Kaunas is Lithuania’s second largest city, while Palanga is Lithuania’s most popular resort town.
Palanga is over 200 km from Vilnius, while Kaunas is only about 100 km. Kaunas is close enough to the capital to potentially draw passengers away from Vilnius. But as Ryanair (RYR) has large operations at both airports, the amount of spillage is likely not significant. Ryanair (RYR) serves 14 routes from Vilnius including Brussels. It does not also serve Brussels or any of Air Lituanica (LUA)’s initial three destinations from Kaunas.
The majority of capacity in Lithuania is to/from the capital airport, Vilnius International Airport, with around 73% of overall capacity. This is followed by Kaunas Airport with around 24% and Palanga Airport with around 4%. Only three airlines currently operate scheduled service to Kaunas: – airBaltic (BAU), RusLine and Ryanair (RYR). (RYR) accounts for almost all of the capacity at Kaunas, about 97%. (RYR) has a base at Kaunas that operates 19 routes and provides over >22,000 seats weekly.
Palanga is served by more carriers, four, but has only about 3,500 total weekly seats. airBaltic (BAU), Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG), RusLine and (SAS) currently serve Palanga.
Lithuania’s fourth airport, Šiauliai Airport, which was until recently solely a military airport, is now a mixed use public/military airport. But it currently is only served by cargo carriers. The airport is still owned by the Lithuanian army.
The coming months will be vital for the future of Air Lituanica (LUA) as it aims to spread awareness of its brand and route network among Lithuanians and residents of its Western European destinations. (LUA)’s viability will hinge on its ability to compete with foreign (LCC)s, which already account for a majority of the market.
By offering both a (LCC)-type economy (Y) product and a full service business (C) class product, (LUA) may be able to appeal to both sectors of the market. But it will be challenging, given the economies of scale enjoyed by much larger (LCC)s and the fact they have established and powerful brands. The previous failures of local scheduled carriers in the Lithuanian market highlight how difficult it can be to establish a sustainable niche in a relatively small market with significant (LCC) presence.
August 2013: Air Lituanica (LUA) is a Lithuanian start-up airline based in Vilnius, Lithuania.
(IATA) Code: LT. (ICAO) Code: LTU - (Callsign - LITUANICA).
Parent Organization/Shareholders: Air lituanica (LUA) is 83% controlled via the Air Lituanica Group (UAB) by Start Vilnius (UAB). The remaining 17% is held by Air Lituanica Club (UAB), which is a private capital enterprise which brings together around 30 private investors from Lithuania.
Main Base: Vilnius International Airport (VNO).
* Belgium - Brussels Airport (BRU), Brussels (started June 2013), 6x weekly, using E170, vs Brussels Airlines (EBA)/(DAT), and RyanAir (RYR), to Brussels South Charleroi Airport (CRL).
* Germany - Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL), Berlin (started August 2013), 7x weekly, using E170/E175.
* Netherlands - Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam (started July 2013), 4x weekly.
Plans are to fly to Moscow, Munich, and Prague.
Since its launch, Air Lituanica (LUA) has operated 98 flights with an average load factor of 65% LF. It expects this to increase to 70% LF by fall.
(LUA) began its direct service from Vilnius Airport (VNO) to Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) on August 5th. The 826 km service is scheduled four times weekly and is operated using (LUA)'s E170. Since they began operations in June, (LUA) also flies to Brussels and Amsterdam from its home-base in Vilnius.
(LUA) will begin 2x-daily (from 1x) Vilnius - Amsterdam service on September 15.
(LUA) will launch scheduled flights to Munich and Prague in September, taking its network to five destinations. (LUA) launched operations on June 30 and flies to Amsterdam, Brussels and Berlin Tegel. This network will be further boosted by the addition of 4x-weekly, Prague service on September 20 and 3x-weekly, Munich service on September 21.
Both new routes will be operated by (LUA)’s second airplane, an Embraer E175 which it has secured on lease from Embraer (EMB) subsidiary, (ECC) Leasing. “Up [until] now all the Air Lituanica (LUA) flights have been carried out in cooperation with the Estonian provider Estonian Air (ENA), the owner of the leased Embraer E170 airplanes. The newly introduced routes will be served with the Air Lituanica (LUA) flight numbers and company (IATA) code LT.”
The network expansion forms part of (LUA)’s plan to serve 13 - 16 routes by 2015, when it plans to carry around 500,000 to 600,000 passengers per year.
September 2013: Lithuanian start-up Air Lituanica (LUA) has taken delivery of an Embraer E175 from Embraer subsidiary (ECC) Leasing, marking the second addition to its fledgling fleet. The 86-seat airplane touched down at (LUA)’s Vilnius home base on September 6, following a three-day delivery flight from Embraer (EMB)’s plant in Brazil that included stops in Recife, Cape Verde, and Seville. It joins Air Lituanica (LUA)’s first airplane, an E170 sourced on lease from Estonian Air (ENA). SEE ATTACHED - - "LUA-2013-09 - 2ND E175."
(LUA) (CEO), Erikas Zubrus said the second airplane will be introduced in response to the start-up’s growing passenger numbers. The new E175 will enter commercial service on September 15 with an initial flight to Brussels; it will then be used to launch (LUA)’s new services to Prague and Munich on September 20 and 21, respectively.
“The lease of a second airplane and the expanding route map are part of a well-directed activity plan based on careful market analysis and general strategy of the company. By 2015 we expect to be serving 13 - 16 routes, so the number of airplanes in our fleet will continue to grow,” Zubrus said.
Air Lituanica (LUA), which launched operations at the end of June, serves Amsterdam, Brussels, and Berlin Tegel.
Air Lituanica (LUA), in cooperation with Small Planet Airlines (LIJ), will offer holiday service December 20 - January 4 with 14 flights each, Vilnius - London (LGW) and - Dublin, and 10 each, Palanga - London (LGW), and - Dublin.
October 2013: Air Lituanica (LUA) has launched two new routes in as many days, utilizing its brand new, leased Embraer E175 airplanes. (LUA), which took delivery of its second fleet addition on September 5, inaugurated flights from its Lithuanian base, Vilnius (VNO) to Prague (PRG) on September 20. The first of two new network additions is a 904 km sector, offered four times weekly and is without competition to the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Air Lituanica (LUA)’s second new city pair, launched a day later on September 21, also operates from its base, Vilnius (VNO); flying to Munich (MUC). The second new route is a 1,170 km sector and is scheduled thrice-weekly, also without competition.
December 2013: Lithuanian start-up carrier, Air Lituanica (LUA) and Estonian Air (ENA) have severed their cooperation following bitter allegations of unpaid debts from both sides.
Vilnius-based Air Lituanica (LUA) launched operations in June under a code share partnership with Estonian Air (ENA), which also provided the start-up with an Embraer E170 and sales support. However, the relationship between the two carriers came to an abrupt end on November 27.
“Air Lituanica (LUA) has repeatedly and on an ongoing basis failed to meet its payment obligations toward Estonian Air (ENA) as set forth in our agreements,” (ENA) (CEO), Jan Palmer said. “(ENA) has been forced to terminate the contracts due to these breaches by (LUA) (breaches that have not been cured in spite of continuous talks and settlement proposals by (ENA).”
(LUA) (CEO), Erikas Zubrus confirmed the split, but countered that (ENA) is actually the one in breach of contract, having run up millions in unpaid debts. He threatened “extreme measures” if its former partner does not pay. “Upon unilateral termination of the contract by Estonian Air (ENA), they left indebted to us (Air Lituanica) LTL5.7 million/$2.2 million for already transported passengers and deposits paid,” Zubrus said.
Under the original contract, (ENA)’s E170 was meant to have been placed with Air Lituanica (LUA) until the end of 2015, operating (LUA)’s services from Vilnius to Amsterdam and Berlin. The remainder of Air Lituanica (LUA)’s network comprises Brussels, Munich, and Prague.
Following the split, (ENA) will continue to operate the Vilnius - Amsterdam route until December 13 and Vilnius - Berlin until January 6. “We have no intentions [of serving] these routes independently in the long term,” Palmer said.
Air Lituanica (LUA) will continue to operate services to Berlin, Brussels, Munich, and Prague, and is aiming to relaunch Vilnius - Amsterdam service independently. It also announced plans to launch a new 4x-weekly Vilnius - Paris Charles de Gaulle service from February 14, which will initially have a 20-minute stop in Prague until April 28, when the flights will operate directly. “The company estimates that over >25,000 passengers will be carried to the French capital in the first year of operation,” it said.
During the holiday period, Air Lituanica (LUA) will offer flights from Vilnius and Palanga to London and Dublin, in cooperation with Small Planet Airlines (LIJ). In spring 2014, the company intends to expand its fleet.
January 2014: The "Baltic Post" has acquired 0.8% of Vilnius-based start-up, Air Lituanica (LUA), taking (LUA)’s total capital to LTL11.3 million/$4.5 million.
(LUA), which recently split with partner Estonian Air (ENA) over a debt dispute, launched operations in June. It operates scheduled flights from Vilnius to Brussels, Berlin Tegel, Prague, and Munich, and will begin flights to Paris on February 14.
When it launched, Air Lituanica (LUA) was 83%-owned by local development agency, Start Vilnius. The remaining 17% belonged to a consortium of private investors called Air Lituanica Club. However, (LUA) has now revamped its ownership structure.
An (LUA) spokeswoman confirmed the Baltic Post has invested LTL86,000 to obtain 0.8% of (LUA). Air Lituanica Club has increased its shareholding to 30.5% and Start Vilnius’ stake has slimmed to 68.7%.
Since (LUA)’s launch, Air Lituanica Club has grown from 30 to 40 investors. (LUA) said the consortium, which has invested LTL3.44 million, is planning to invest an additional LTL660,000 in the carrier, taking its total investment to LTL4.1 million. (LUA) says it is “continuously” in talks with potential investors to join Air Lituanica Club or become direct shareholders.
(LUA) operates a single E175 from Embraer subsidiary, (ECC) Leasing and is planning to add two more EMB-Jets in the first half of 2014.
Until November 2013, Air Lituanica (LUA) had a second airplane, an E170 leased from Estonian Air (ENA), but this left the fleet following a bitter rift between the former joint venture (JV) partners involving allegations of unpaid debts from both sides. Under the original contract, (ENA)’s E170 was meant to have been placed with Air Lituanica (LUA) until the end of 2015.
Lithuanian start-up Air Lituanica (LUA) is planning to take +2 more Embraer EMB-Jets, expanding its fleet to three airplanes in 2014.
February 2014: Air Lituanica (LUA) increases service with Vilnius - Berlin increasing to daily March 17 from 4x-weekly. Vilnius - Prague increases to 5x-weekly on March 13. Vilnius - Munich increases 4x-weekly on March 16. Service on Vilnius - Paris (CDG) increases to 5x-weekly in May.
March 2014: Air Lituanica (LUA), the relatively new flag carrier of Lithuania, added its sixth route from its Vilnius (VNO) base, with the addition of services to Tallinn (TLL) on March 12th. The 533 km sector will be served 10 times weekly, utilizing a mixed fleet of (LUA)’s 86-seat EMB-175s and 50-seat CRJ 200s. (LUA)’s new service to the capital and largest city of Estonia will face direct competition from Estonian Air (ENA)’s eight weekly flights. Commenting on the route launch, Egidijus Vaišvilas, Managing Director, West Express, said: “Such a dense flight schedule will facilitate traveling for business clients; after going to Tallinn, they will have a chance to handle their business affairs and to come back to Lithuania on the same day. We have observed a growing interest in this route; therefore, we are planning that with favorable pricing, a part of clients will change their travelling habits and choose planes instead of buses or cars. I believe that this route will increase the scope of cooperation between West Express and Air Lituanica (LUA) even more.”
April 2014: Air Lituanica (LUA) has added summer 3x-weekly, Vilnius - Billund service. (LUA) begins 2x-weekly Vilnius - Gothenburg summer service beginning June 15 and 2x-weekly – Malmo service on June 17.
May 2014: Air Lituanica ((IATA) Code: LT, based at Vilnius) (LUA) is to resume Vilnius to Amsterdam services beginning August 31. According to (LUA), the flights will operate daily on-board an E195 expected to arrive in the coming weeks. A spat over payments with previous operating partner, Estonian Air ((IATA) Code: OV, based at Tallinn Lennart Meri) (ENA), forced Air Lituanica (LUA) to suspend the route in late 2013.
(LUA) begins daily, Vilnius - Amsterdam Embraer E175 service on August 31 and increases from 10x-weekly to 12x on its Tallinn - Vilnius service.
A second Embraer (EMB) jet is also expected during this half of the year for use on planned new flights to Moscow. Air Lituanica (LUA) currently operates a single E175 and wet-leases a CRJ-200 from Cimber ((IATA) Code: QA, based at Sønderborg) (STR).
June 2014: Air Lituanica (LUA), the relatively new flag carrier of Lithuania, expanded its presence in Scandinavia, with the addition of two new routes from its Vilnius (VNO) base, both of which are operated by its 77-seat E175s. On June 15th, (LUA) launched twice-weekly flights (Wednesdays and Sundays) to Gothenburg (GOT) in Sweden that will be operated until August 27th. One day later, on June 16th, (LUA) inaugurated the 1,033 km sector to Billund (BLL) in Denmark with thrice-weekly operations until August 28th. There is no competition on any of the two new airport pairs.
(LUA) which in the previous week added two services to Gothenburg and Billund, continued to expand its presence in the Scandinavian market with the launch of a new route from Vilnius (VNO) to Malmö (MMX) on June 17th. The 766 km sector to the third largest city in Sweden will be served twice-weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays) until August 29th, utilizing (LUA)’s 77Y-seat E175. There is no competition on the new airport pair.
August 2014: Air Lituanica (LUA) will keep 2x-weekly, Vilnius - Billund on its schedule of regular flights, going off seasonal-only service.
September 2014: Gytis Gumuliauskas, has replaced Erikas Zubrus as (CEO) of Air Lituanica (LUA). Erika Zubrus hasn't severed his ties completely, as he has decided to stay on as (LUA)'s consultant for strategic affairs.
November 2014: Air Lituanica (LUA) begins 10x-weekly, Vilnius - Stockholm Bromma on January 26.
February 2015: News Item A-1: Air Lituanica (LUA) offers 10x-weekly, Vilnius - Stockholm Bromma flights.
News Item A-2: Air Lituanica (LUA) has joined the European Region Airlines Association (ERAA) as a new member. Based in Vilnius, Lithuania, (LUA) is the latest airline member to join the (EERA) and brings the number of airlines in its membership to 53.
May 2015: Lithuanian carrier, Air Lituanica (LUA) ceased flying from noon Friday, May 22nd local time. The small airline, whose website credits it with operating an Embraer EMB-175, an Embraer EMB-145 and an ATR42 said its management had decided to stop operations.
The final flights operated from Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, were to Amsterdam, Tallinn, and Paris. Afternoon services to Berlin, Prague, Brussels, and Stockholm were canceled.
Air Lituanica (LUA), which began services in 2013, said it had reached an agreement with airBaltic (BAU), from neighboring Latvia, to carry passengers booked on (LUA)’s services over the next eight days.
Attempts to reach Air Lituanica (LUA) by telephone were unsuccessful. As recently as early this year, (LUA) had been announcing expansion plans.
AirBaltic (BAU) said it would step into the breach and launch a series of new services from Vilnius from early September to six European destinations served by the defunct Lithuanian carrier. It already operates services between the Latvian capital, Riga, and Vilnius and also a Vilnius - Amsterdam service.
(BAU) confirmed that it would accept Air Lituanica (LUA) passengers for the next week and that passengers booked for flights beyond that date, would be offered “rescue fares” to their destinations.
“Our home market for airBaltic (BAU) is Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia,” (CEO), Martin Gauss said. “We will consolidate and strengthen our services in our home market by offering more direct flights. We will rescue stranded passengers in the first days following the suspension of (LUA) flights and will offer special rescue fares for customers booked for flights later in the summer.”
In recent years, (BAU) has suggested that it would be sensible to have a single airline serving the small Baltic States. “Today’s event in Vilnius is a strong signal that the three Baltic countries should take a common approach to their aviation, to best support travelers, new economic activity, and new jobs,” Gauss said.
Following Air Lituanica (LUA)'s cessation of services, Estonian Air (ENA) announced it would nearly double frequencies on its Tallinn - Vilnius route from six to 11, beginning Monday. “We are planning to find out, together with the Lithuanian Ministry of Economic Affairs, what are the possibilities for future co-operation to connect Vilnius with the rest of European cities,” (ENA)'s (CCO), Indrek Randveer said.
ACCORDING TO AIRLINER WORLD IN http://www.airlinerworld.com
IN 2015, AIR LITUANICA WAS LISTED AS ONE OF THE AIRLINE FAILURES
ACCORDING TO THE GLOBAL AIRLINE GUIDE.