Ryanair’s new Vilnius routes will indirectly compete with Wizz Air on three routes, going head-to-head on Bergamo

Wizz Air’s József Váradi

While Wizz Air’s József Váradi expected to have Ryanair next door in Kaunas, Michael O’Leary’s airline is now moving into Vilnius as well. As a result, the two airlines will compete for passengers to Milan, Rome, Barcelona and London.

Earlier this week, Ryanair announced that it would start flying to its second airport in Lithuania, following on from the success of its base at Kaunas. According to anna.aero’s research, Kaunas airport was the fastest-growing in Europe last year, with passenger numbers up 77% to almost 810,000. The country’s capital airport at Vilnius (where traffic grew by just 5% to 1.37 million in 2010) will from the beginning of May welcome Ryanair flights from five airports; Dublin, Girona, London Stansted, Milan Bergamo and Rome Ciampino.

In mid-April, Central Europe’s biggest LCC Wizz Air (which carried 9.6 million passengers in 2010) will be starting a small base at Vilnius, serving eight destinations including airports in Barcelona, London, Milan and Rome. Without a national airline since the demise of flyLAL in January 2009, other carries from neighbouring countries (such as Estonian Air and airBaltic) have gradually been developing a network from the capital airport.

Ryanair competing with Wizz Air on four of five cities served

The table below summarises by country which airlines will be operating which routes this summer.

Country LCCs Regional carriers Other
Austria     Vienna (Austrian)
Belgium     Brussels (Brussels Airlines)
Czech Republic     Prague (Czech Airlines)
Denmark   Copenhagen (airBaltic) Copenhagen (SAS)
Estonia   Tallinn (airBaltic)
Tallinn (Estonian Air)
Finland     Helsinki (Finnair)
France   Paris CDG (airBaltic)  
Germany   Berlin TXL (Estonian Air) Frankfurt (Lufthansa)
Ireland Cork (Wizz Air)
Dublin (Ryanair)
Dublin (airBaltic) Dublin (Aer Lingus)
Italy Milan BGY (Ryanair)
Milan BGY (Wizz Air)
Rome CIA (Ryanair)
Rome FCO (Wizz Air)
Milan MXP (Estonian Air)
Rome FCO (airBaltic)
Latvia   Riga (airBaltic)  
Netherlands Eindhoven (Wizz Air) Amsterdam (Estonian Air)  
Norway Oslo (Norwegian)    
Poland     Warsaw (LOT)
Spain Barcelona (Wizz Air)
Girona (Ryanair)
Sweden Stockholm NYO (Wizz Air) Stockholm ARN (Estonian Air)  
Ukraine     Kiev (AeroSvit)
UK Doncaster/Sheffield (Wizz Air)
London LTN (Wizz Air)
London STN (Ryanair)
London LGW (airBaltic)  
Source: OAG Max Online for w/c 1 August 2011 and Ryanair.com

Ryanair’s Girona and Milan Bergamo routes are being transferred to Vilnius from Kaunas. However, the Kaunas base will continue to see new routes offered with Alicante, Kos, Rhodes, and Stockholm Skavsta all being added for 2011. However, routes operated since last May from Kaunas to Berlin (Schönefeld) and Düsseldorf (Weeze) will cease at the end of March as part of the airline’s reduction in its flying programme to and from German airports as a response to the introduction of the government’s so-called ‘eco-tax’ at the beginning of this year.


  1. tok says:

    It seems Ryanair chose first time in Baltic 2 airports in 70 km range.
    Will be next Tukums Airport TVA getting Ryanairs flights announcements? Which is located 55 km from Riga?

  2. Alex says:

    I think it would be very unlikely for Ryanair to fly to Tukums, they already have a fair amount of routes to Riga. But I bet it’s almost certain Ryanair will serve the new Warsaw Modlin airport when it opens in 2012. As far as I know this would result in Ryanair flying to every city in Poland that has an airport caperble of handling a Ryanair aircraft.

  3. Escape Hunter says:

    Ryanair has a rivalry thing with Wizz Air. However, when they attacked Wizz Air at its main base (Budapest Franz Liszt Airport), they eventually lost…

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