Challenge accepted: Vilnius hosts a competition to celebrate the return of flights to the city

Vilnius, 23 July: Last weekend, Lithuanian Airports teamed up with airBaltic and took a novel approach to promoting the continuing return of flights to and from the city following quarantine. The companies set up a row of plane seats in a popular leisure zone near the city’s White Bridge and offered people a chance to win a flight to Paris if they could stay seated for as long as they could, or what would normally take a plane to circle the world along the equator – almost 45 hours.

The Flight around the world challenge: abandon the sofa for a plane seat received a lot of attention from locals and guests to the city, and served as a reminder that many flights to and from Vilnius that were once suspended due to quarantine are now operational again. And even though a handful of people were up for the marathon challenge of staying seated for the better part of the weekend to win flights to Paris, the rest of us need only purchase our tickets online.

Four people ended up taking on the gruelling challenge, with three of them completing it and one individual standing down just a few hours before the finish line. The eventual winner, who was drawn at random from those who completed the challenge, received a business class return trip for two to Paris with airBaltic, which includes Business Lounge access and priority check-in service at Vilnius Airport. What’s more, given the determination the other participants demonstrated, airBaltic decided to award their efforts with return tickets to Paris too.

“We are glad to see that our event received so much attention and involvement. There were sixteen other people who signed up and were ready to take over the challenge if any of the initial participants broke down,” said Aurimas Stikliūnas, Head of Aviation Services at Lithuanian Airports. “Their enthusiasm has once again proven that the universal passion for travel has not disappeared and that no disaster can take away the desire people have to discover the world. We wish all the participants wonderful experiences in Paris.”

The challenge coincided with the French Holiday Weekend organised by Go Vilnius, the city’s agency dedicated to tourism and development. The weekend was part of a broader initiative that has been transforming the city centre into different international destinations, including Italy, India and next week’s Spain.

According to Stikliūnas, Lithuania’s three international airports are currently operating flights to some 70 destinations, with more to come in the near future. This means that all passengers can find at least one destination they’d like to visit, and of course, that destinations in Lithuania are much more accessible now. Stikliūnas also pointed out that airports and airlines are putting a lot of effort into maintaining safety protocols and ensuring passenger safety.

Before selecting a flight, passengers are encouraged to find out about the safety situation in the country they intend to visit. Moreover, the Lithuanian Ministry of Health and Lithuanian Airports are constantly updating their websites with the latest information on travelling to and from Lithuania.