Ryanair launch Sweden-Lithuania route

Less than three months after starting operations in Lithuania, Irish low-cost airline Ryanair announced on Wednesday the launch of a second route from the Baltic state, linking the city of Kaunas to the Swedish capital Stockholm.

“Flights to Stockholm Skavsta airport will start on February 22, 2006, and we shall offer four flights a week,” Karl Hogstadius, Ryanair’s deputy director for the Nordic and Baltic regions, told reporters.

“We hope that some 60,000 passengers will travel on this route over 12 months. The majority of them are likely to be Swedish tourists,” Hogstadius added.

The majority of passengers on Ryanair’s Kaunas-London route have been Lithuanians heading to Britain, not British tourists coming to the Baltic state, as the airline had predicted originally.

Those flights have been operating at around 90 percent passenger occupancy, beating the low-cost carrier’s forecast of 75 percent occupancy.

Britain, Ireland and Sweden were the only three older European Union member states to allow the nationals of new member states from the former communist bloc, including Lithuania, full access to their jobs markets.