In February 2019, it was Kaunas and Palanga airports that saw the largest growth in flight number: compared to the same period of last year, it increased by almost one fourth. During the second month of this year, a slight increase in the number of flights was recorded in Vilnius while the number of flights handled in Šiauliai airport decreased.
The number of flights handled in Vilnius airport in February made up 3,191, i.e. increased by 1.17 per cent, compared to last year. The number of flights handled in Kaunas and Palanga made up 719 and 268, respectively, and increased by 23.3 and 23.5 per cent, compared to the same period last year. The number of flights handled in Šiauliai airport in February made up 312, i.e. decreased by 14 per cent, compared to the same period last year, according to the Lithuanian Air Navigation Service Provider SE Oro navigacija.
The total number of flights handled in the Lithuanian airspace in February made up 16.7 thousand, i.e. increased by 0.21 per cent, compared to the same period last year. In the second month of this year there was a slight decrease (1.25 per cent) of overflights, their number amounted to 12.4 thousand.
“The decrease in transit traffic was largely due to the German airspace constraints. The main reason is the shortage of air traffic controllers in Germany. Due to the airspace constraints, airlines were forced to change the flight routes and redirect them to north – via the airspace controlled by Sweden, Latvia and Estonia”, says Mindaugas Gustys, CEO of SE Oro navigacija.
Overflights, during which aircraft cross the Lithuanian airspace by transit but take off from/land in airports of other countries, account for about three fourths of the total number of flights operated in the Lithuanian airspace. Air companies pay the route charges for the air navigation services provided to overflights. When aircraft take off from a Lithuanian airport, air companies pay a terminal charge for the services provided.
According to the Multilateral Agreement Lithuania has delegated the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol) billing and collection of charges on its behalf. Costs of billing and collection of charges are covered by airspace users. The air navigation services provided in Lithuania are export services as they are mostly used by foreign economic entities (about 99 per cent). Costs of SE Oro navigacija are fully covered by revenue form main activities and the enterprise receives no funds from the state budget.
More than 30 thousand flights are daily performed in the European skies.
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