The three international airports in Lithuania have served around 1.104 million passengers in the first quarter of this year.

This represents a 16.4% decline compared to the figures registered in the same three-month period of 2019.

The massive drop is attributed to plummeting travel demand and cancellation of nearly all flights due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Lithuanian Airports Aviation Services head Aurimas Stikliūnas said: “The virus hit countless businesses across various sectors, but aviation was hit extremely bad. Travel demand decreased gradually until flights nearly disappeared altogether by the end of March.”

The Vilnius Airport in the capital served 830,000 passengers, a 17.6% drop compared to the first quarter of last year, while Kaunas Airport registered a 13.7% fall in passenger growth serving around 211,000 passengers in the same period.

From January to March 2020, around 63,000 passengers travelled through the Palanga Airport, which witnessed an 8.1% decline in growth.

Furthermore, the Lithuanian Airports reported that the number of passengers plummeted last month, when the travel restrictions and border closures started becoming effective.

In March 2020, they served a total of 202,000 passengers, a 56% decline over what the airports registered in first quarter of 2019.

Stikliūnas added: “Lithuanian Airports is the largest supplier of aviation infrastructure in Lithuania. We are a catalyst of economic development.

“For local or foreign companies to invest and create jobs, they need our infrastructure where air carriers can perform regular flights in and out of the country.

“In that perspective, the future of countless businesses depends on the revival of aviation activities at Lithuanian Airports.”