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Improve Lithuania’s air transport with tools provided by EU, says European Commissioner

Lithuania should strive to improve air transport with instruments provided by the European Union (EU), says European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc.

“The European Commission recognizes the challenges in the air connectivity, that some of the members states like Lithuania are facing. We adopted new guidelines on public service obligation and that member states can identify and address these connectivity issues, of course they have to be used in the spirit of state aid guidelines.

“I would certainly invite that innovative financial tools are used in order to address the connectivity issues, with investments, with proper conditions,” Bulc said.

Lithuania’s Transport and Communication Minister, Rokas Masiulis, revealed earlier that the least substantial progress had been achieved in their bid to resolve the air communication issue.

“The rules where the state can improve its accessibility by air in one way or another are excessively strict for such small countries, such as Lithuania, where Vilnius cannot be reached from all European capitals within six or seven hours.

“This requires a change of rules, so that the state could earmark bigger sums for the purpose,” Masiulis said.

The EU prohibits nations from backing airports or companies. Without the green light from the European Commission, countries can only offer assistance of 200,000 euros to new flights.

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