In the first half year of 2019, the number of flights handled in the Lithuanian airspace remained stable, compared with the respective period of 2018 (126.3 thousand, 2019; 126.4 thousand, 2018).
“The air traffic dynamics have been determined by various factors, including the international environment, activities of airlines and other air navigation service providers, as well as global events. The first half year of 2018 saw the record 11 per cent growth which prompted us to take measures for increasing the airspace capacity, thus we introduced an additional flight sector. The figures for the first half year of 2019 are very similar to those in the respective period last year, and we have succeeded in maintaining the required capacity and high level of service quality. It was on 22 June 2019 that the largest number, 918 flights, were serviced’, while reviewing the trends in air traffic in 2018 and 2019, says Mindaugas Gustys, CEO of SE Oro navigacija, Lithuanian ANSP.
In 2019, five airlines – major users of the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania – remained the same [Air Baltic (Latvia), Finnair (Finland), Aeroflot and Rossya (the Russian Federation), and Lufthansa (Germany)], the air traffic flow structure also remained stable (terminal flights and overflights accounted for 25% and 75% of all the flights handled, respectively).
The number of overflights in the Republic of Lithuania is determined by the choice of routes by airlines, dependant on delays in the areas of airspace controlled by air navigation service providers of other countries. During the first half year, the number of transit flights overflying the Lithuanian airspace were mostly operated from/to the Russian capital and other Russian cities, as well as from/to the Russian capital and major West European airports. The most frequent directions of overflights were Paris–Moscow, Moscow–Kaliningrad, Moscow–Frankfurt, St Petersburg–Kaliningrad, Helsinki–Munich, Shanghai–Frankfurt, and Moscow–Berlin.
The number of terminal flights is impacted by changes in flight schedules of airlines. Although in the first half year of 2019 the number of flights operated by Wizzair was lower by 20% (3690), compared to the same period 2018, terminal flights operated by other airlines were growing: the Irish Ryanair 8 per cent (total terminal flight number reached 5925), the Latvian Air Baltic 3 per cent (3722 flights), and the Polish LOT Polish Airlines 15 per cent (2747 flights). In the first half year 2019, the number of terminal flights serviced at International Vilnius Airport remained the same as in 2018 (23 thousand flights), at International Kaunas Airport their number increased by 5 per cent (4.8 thousand flights), while at International Palanga Airport it was lower by 2 per cent (2.1 thousand flights).
Terminal flights are flights of aircraft which flew the Lithuanian airspace and took off from/landed at one of the Lithuanian airports, and overflights are flights of aircraft which flew the Lithuanian airspace and took off from/landed at airports of other countries. Airlines pay the route air navigation service charges for the services provided during overflights. When aircraft take off from/land at one of the Lithuanian airports, the terminal air navigation service charges are paid by airlines.
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.
Costs of SE Oro navigacija are fully covered by revenue from main activities and the enterprise receives no funds from the state budget.
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