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Flylal - Lithuanian Airlines Grounded  
User currently offlineAlm1 From Lithuania, joined Oct 2008, 63 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 10926 times:

Their website www.flylal.com now contains only message about ceased operations.

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDALCE From Netherlands, joined Feb 2007, 1680 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 10765 times:

That is a true pity. I loved to see their aircraft around AMS. I hope they can restart operations soon!


flown on : F50,F70,CR1,CR2,CR9,E75,143,AR8,AR1,733,735,736,73G,738,753,744,319,320,321,333,AB6.
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 10688 times:

Information on preconditions before the current situation:

Lithuanian Airlines, previously a state held company, was privatised by a Lithuanian consortium and renamed FlyLAL - Lithuanian Airlines several years ago. While airline previously had detrimental and profitable periods and once was the largest carrier in the Baltic States, troubles started with the Lithuania's accession to European Union (May 1st 2004), when Latvian national air company (49% shares - SAS, 51% - Latvian government) started to operate from Vilnius. Air Baltic frequently flew the same routes as FlyLAL and abandoned them quickly if FlyLAL stopped flying them (such as happened with Vilnius-Brusseles and Vilnius-Dublin routes in 2008); also, Air Baltic is subsidised by Latvian government through Riga Airport, which applies 80% lower fees for Air Baltic therefore making connecting flights via Riga cheaper than direct flights from Vilnius and helping to meet the Latvia's goal of promoting Riga as a transit airport between east and west.

Vilnius airport, on the other hand, was uncooperative, levied relatively large fees, did not permit FlyLAL to build private terminal in which it claimed to have hoped to operate connecting flights after planned expansion (advertisement of this project could be found here if it is still not taken down by the time you read it: http://www.vilniusairport.lt/index.php?sector=2 ; this website is owned by FlyLAL). The director of Vilnius airport who became relatively infamous not only for reasons was changed with the change of government in 2008 and the building of new terminal was permitted. Also, after a long procedure court arrested 200 million worth Air Baltic assets on FlyLAL claim of damages by illegal competition due to subsidies (however, it turned out Air Baltic had little assets; similar claim against Air Baltic previously was issued by British Airways if I am correct because of London-Riga route, but that time British Airways renounced the claim later).

However, such changes were too late, FlyLAL had 30 million debts (much of them to Vilnius airport, which threatened not to permit FlyLAL to land anymore, but temporary solution was found in December); owners of FlyLAL - Lithuanian Airlines offered Lithuanian government company's shares for 1 Litas, but government, in crisis itself, refused to buy the company. In mid-January it was announced that a Swiss company will buy FlyLAL - Lithuanian Airlines for 2.5 million Litas, but, according to the FlyLAL website, the Swiss company defaulted from its obligations and therefore FlyLAL flights were grounded.

This situation only concerns FlyLAL - Lithuanian Airlines; FlyLAL Charters still flies as usual, other companies in the group presumably will continue operations as well (aircraft maintenance, ground service, training and other companies).

[Edited 2009-01-16 10:19:28]

User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10579 times:

So why not invest in Kaunas airport instead if Vilnius was such bad deal? The towns are not far from each other.

User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7113 posts, RR: 57
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10550 times:



Quoting Sonic (Reply 2):
This situation only concerns FlyLAL - Lithuanian Airlines; FlyLAL Charters still flies as usual

I have also heard this from a senior manager in the company. Charters will continue to operate.

Sonic, thanks for the information.



The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineAirGabon From Switzerland, joined Dec 2003, 880 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10540 times:

It's a real pity that TE ceased ops, with Air Baltic leaving also VNO, how to reach Vilnius now??

Just are remaining OK, LH, LO, OS, AY and BT from RIX. I really wish that a new Lithuanian carrier will fly soon.

Labas to Lithuania, a great country and to Vilnius one of the most beautiful European capital!!!


User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10530 times:

Alm1 - And what are those reasons in your opinion?

Alessandro - There was once another state company Air Lithuania which operated from Kaunas and Palanga; it was privatised earlier and went bankrupt. Afterwards, FlyLAL operated some flights from Palanga, but not from Kaunas. I am not sure if FlyLAL ever considered relocating to Kaunas, however Lithuanian branch of Air Baltic indeed did (however it may change with new policies in Vilnius airport and the grounding of FlyLAL; Vilnius airport announces 50% lower fees for the first year for new routes). Kaunas airport is now served by low cost airlines (RyanAir, but previously also Wizz Air).

[Edited 2009-01-16 11:06:08]

User currently offlineBT001 From Latvia, joined Aug 2006, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10500 times:



Quoting Sonic (Reply 2):
troubles started with the Lithuania's accession to European Union (May 1st 2004), when Latvian national air company (49% shares - SAS, 51% - Latvian government) started to operate from Vilnius.

right you are - troubles started once competition started  Smile this is business you know.


User currently offlineAlm1 From Lithuania, joined Oct 2008, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10444 times:



Quoting Sonic (Reply 6):
Alm1 - And what are those reasons in your opinion?

Completely inept management and owners. Only last example will do - selling the airline to a swiss investor without even knowing their company name.


User currently offlineSukhoi From Sweden, joined May 2006, 373 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10416 times:



Quoting AirGabon (Reply 5):
with Air Baltic leaving also VNO

When is BT leaving VNO?


User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7113 posts, RR: 57
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 10345 times:



Quoting Alm1 (Reply 8):

Completely inept management and owners

Or perhaps very shrewd management and owners, offloading the loss making airline, and keeping the profitable parts, such as maintenance, training and charter.



The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2382 posts, RR: 28
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 10290 times:

BT currently only flies from VNO to ARN, CPH, MUC, MXP, RIX and TLL right now. But they had alredy planned to resume lots of routes again from the summer season, so I would assume they will try to get back into the market quickly now to fill the void.


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 10290 times:

Alm1 - The name of the Swiss company is published in their website - SCH Swiss Capital Holding AG. I am not related anyhow to the management of FlyLAL myself, so what I wrote in the previous messages is only information gathered from media, press releases, etc. rather than official opinion of FlyLAL.

Sukhoi - I doubt it is final information that Air Baltic leaves Vilnius; there were plans to move some or most Air Baltic flights to Kaunas, but for this season at least they still sell tickets from Vilnius.

[Edited 2009-01-16 11:47:28]

User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7113 posts, RR: 57
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 10265 times:

Arent the landing charges in Vilnius really high?


The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineCXA330300 From South Africa, joined May 2004, 1560 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 10129 times:

Too bad.

Are there any other airlines based in Lithuania?



The sky is the limit as long as you can stay there
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1670 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 10105 times:

There are no other airlines based in Lithuania which would operate scheduled flights. There are a few passenger charter airlines however: the aforementioned FlyLAL Charters and Aurela.

User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2382 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 1 week ago) and read 9937 times:

From what I heard Avion Express is planning to launch scheduled flights, but domestic flights in Sweden to start with.


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
User currently offline44k From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 9792 times:

Certainly a huge blow to the aviation industry in Lithuania. I have flown FlyLAL several times in the last 5 years and have noticed their steady decline.

I recall in 2004 they were still serving food in economy and the cabins were very well maintained with losts of space and legroom. The last time I flew on of their Saab's (2008) I was scared for my life. The plane was beyond drity and used up, with seats falling apart.

Then, recently, I flew their 737..what a contrast from a few years back! I could not believe how little legspace there was, by far the most cramped cabin I have ever been in. The service was quite poor too, not even a free drink.

Nevertheless, its a shame they are gone. This will make my getting from-to Lithuania much harder. I hope to see BA take on a LON-VNO route.


User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 788 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 8596 times:

One of the final downfalls for FlyLAL was when one of their planes was denied departure from RIX just recently for not paying THC and possibly landing fees to the Riga Airport authorities. You could see the writing on the wall that this would not turn out good.

Although Riga Airport (RIX) refused to mention the sum of all the outstanding fees owed from the past, it said in a statement that they were "significant." So, we're not just talking about one departure fee from a recognized airline. Must have accumulated over a period of time.

airBaltic (BT) and their mother beacon SAS (SK) are engaging in a ruthless marketing ploy to make RIX a sort of a hub for SK transfers to the Eastern part of the globe. Who knows, it might work, but then again SK is not the steadiest of rocks today.

Sorry that I can't be more informative, but I've recently moved back to the U.S.


User currently offlineThomas_Jaeger From Switzerland, joined Apr 2002, 2382 posts, RR: 28
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7850 times:

SK will also no longer be involved in BT as they decided to pull out.


Swiss aviation news junkie living all over the place
User currently offlineAirGabon From Switzerland, joined Dec 2003, 880 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 7840 times:

And what about Aurela, the charter Lithuanian airline?
They are based in VNO and they have B733 and B757. Could they start to operate regular flights?

And what about the FlyLal technics facilities? They have maintenance contracts with many foreign carriers in Europe and CIS.


User currently offlineDelta777Jet From Germany, joined Jun 2000, 1249 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7526 times:

Aurela don't have the money either to operate scheduled flights.


Fly easyJet
User currently offlineBT001 From Latvia, joined Aug 2006, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7503 times:



Quoting RIXrat (Reply 18):
airBaltic (BT) and their mother beacon SAS (SK) are engaging in a ruthless marketing ploy to make RIX a sort of a hub for SK transfers to the Eastern part of the globe. Who knows, it might work, but then again SK is not the steadiest of rocks today.

what are you talking about?? SK shares will be sold to BT management on last day of January.


User currently offlineBT001 From Latvia, joined Aug 2006, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 7490 times:



Quoting AirGabon (Reply 20):
And what about the FlyLal technics facilities? They have maintenance contracts with many foreign carriers in Europe and CIS.

what about it? these are separate companies as far as I know. don't think having no permit to fly influences technical services.


User currently offlineCumulus From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 1402 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (5 years 7 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 7172 times:

http://www.flylal.com/flyLAL_ceases_operations.pdf

Suing Air Baltic by the looks of things!



What Goes Up Must Come Down, Hopefully In One Piece!
25 DavidkunzVIE : That press release reveals how much the people in charge at LAL were living in the 90s/80s.
26 Sonic : The problem with scheduled flights here is that you either need a hub yourself so that you would be able to operate frequent flights and attract trans
27 Sukhoi : And what will happen with BT and the really bad economic situation that is happening in Latvia? SK & and BT seems to be ending there codeshare how is
28 BT001 : I do not see any bright future for BT. Lot of new destinations are already closed (e.g. ALA etc.). I think BT still rely on Latvian government to get
29 Planeguy : This is terrible news! Now Lithuania is only left with TOKS! I hope an investor can be found to restart FlyLAL.
30 Sukhoi : What is TOKS?
31 Sukhoi : I don´t think Air Baltic & Estonian Air will survive too long when they said no to SAS offer to be the majority shareholder. All codeshares will be c
32 Alm1 : A bus company (but not the only one).
33 Delta777Jet : I think Air Baltic has similar problems, I already wonder why they not use the chance to promote their existence in Vilnius to the many stranded passe
34 Traveler_7 : I think that survival of Estonian Air now depends now on how Estonian government will agree with SAS. Taking in to account that SK do not own any mor
35 Sonic : Around 24000 individual tickets (owned by 11000 costumers) became unusable because of these events. It is unlikely that people would regain much money
36 Andaman : It's sad one more small airline gone I was surprised AY's website still showing offers from HEL to Vilnius, they serve the route twice daily with E70/
37 AC788 : BT001, IMHO, I'm not sure it's a fair business competition between FlyLAL and it's Latvian counterpart when the latter of the two is government owned
38 Zvezda : I guess we'll see a resumption of SK services to VNO if BT drop VNO-CPH. Agreed. BT passengers will continue to earn EuroBonus miles. Of course, the c
39 Sonic : I wouldn't say that Kaunas has more competition as only Ryanair serves there to 3 cities; Ryanair business model is quite different as it serves minor
40 Post contains links Jfidler : There are rumours circulating that BT may leave Eurobonus in the next few months: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/sas-e...143-airbaltic-leave-eurobonu
41 BT001 : Doesn't that sound very low number of sold tickets taking into consideration that it's for all possible future flights?
42 Sonic : Might be in part related to the fact that there were rumours about bad situation in FlyLAL previously; for example, Vilnius airport threatened not to
43 Post contains links Sonic : According to Lithuanian media: *Investigation was started by the ministry of infrastructure about the management (http://www.avia-am.lt/ ; http://www.
44 Alm1 : You are not correct. Flights to Amsterdam, London, Paris and Frankfurt were on sale.
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