Lithuania calls on to launch direct flights to all EU capital cities by 2020

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2017 09 21

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„Good air connectivity is vital for the economic growth, business development, mobility and tourism. Successful European integration would be hardly possible without reliable and well-functioning airlines operating in the European Union as well as third countries. Lithuania calls on to achieve a feasible target – to launch direct flights between all capital cities of the EU member states by 2020,” the Lithuanian Vice-Minister of Transport and Communications Ričardas Degutis said at an informal session of EU energy and transport ministers in Tallinn.

According to Mr Degutis, the legal framework of the European air transport is still not favourable for the achievement of this target, therefore, it would be advisable to review legislation currently in force and provide alternative measures.

The situation in the aviation market is changing. So, Lithuania offers to update EU legislation with provisions that would relax competition rules for airlines by maintaining the balance between more and less competitive markets. This principle could be applied not only to airports located in islands but also to airports in regions as well as small airports. State aid rules for airlines and airports should also be more flexible.

“We must envisage simpler ways for airports and EU member states to develop their airport infrastructure and adjust it for their future needs. Certainly, this issue is quite complicated, but we need to discuss it in order to realise the potential of every part of Europe,” stated Mr Degutis.

The Aviation Strategy, which is meant to address new challenges faced by the EU, was presented by the European Commission in 2015.