Air Lituanica is a Lithuanian airline based in Vilnius, Lithuania. It was officially launched on 1 May 2013.
Air Lituanica was registered in late May 2012. The carrier's sole owner, Air Vilnius Group, had an initiial investment of LTL0.5 million. Air Vilnius Group was in turn owned by Å iaur?s miestelis, which had been registered on 21 May 2012 as a subsidiary of the Vilnius City Municipality. Plans were to collect LTL43.5 million from a number of investors for the establishment of the new airline.
In May 2013, Brussels was announced to be the carrier's first destination, with services starting on 30 June 2013; by this time, the air operator's certificateÂ had not been granted yet but the airline already had 27 employees. Air Lituanica was established in May 2013. The activation of the company was partly accelerated by the fact that Lithuania would take position in the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July 2013 to 31 December 2013. The carrier was named after Lituanica, an aircraft commanded by Steponas Darius and Stasys Girenas, two pioneer Lithuanian pilots that flew it on a transatlantic flight in 1933. The sale of tickets was launched in early June 2013 using the Estonian Air booking channels.
Air Lituanica received its AOC on 26 June 2013 operations started four days later, on 30 June, serving the Vilniusâ€“Brussels route with a leased Embraer E-170. After its maiden flight, Air Lituanica became the first scheduled Lithuanian airline since FlyLAL and Star1 Airlines ceased operations in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Following allegations of missed payments from both parts, the contractual relationship between Air Lituanica and Estonian Air was unilaterally terminated by the Estonian national carrier in late November 2013.
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