With Lithuania's presidency of the Council of the European Union drawing closer, Estonian Air could play a role in providing Vilnius with more direct flights.
The Lithuanian government has expressed an interest in short or long-term cooperation with Estonia's national airline, but the Estonian minister of economy, Juhan Parts, said it is too early to predict if that interest will materialize.
Lithuania's own carrier, FlyLAL, grounded its fleet four years ago, and the nation's cabinet is looking for ways to increase the number of direct flights to and from Vilnius. Lithuania's presidency of the Council of the European Union begins in July of this year. The government says the current lack of flights is a problem.
Parts concurred that Estonian Air is flexible enough and has the resources to lend Lithuania a hand. A common Baltic airline is a long-standing idea, but has not been accomplished and is highly unlikely to manifest, said Toomas Peterson, an ex-CEO of Estonian Air.
“Estonian Air currently has big problems and Air Baltic is likewise fighting Brussels, and if we were to join these troubled companies into one, that synergy would not be an advantage,” said Peterson.