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Last year air navigation service provider Oro Navigacija handled 166.2 thousand flights – 1.2 percent more than the year before – within the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania. Due to the imposed sanctions the airlines were forced to go round Russian airspace and change their routes, the number of overflights within Lithuanian airspace decreased by 13 percent in comparison to 2021. The growth of the total number of handled flights was determined by 52 percent increase in the number of terminal flights.  

In accordance with the data of public limited liability company Oro Navigacija which provides air navigation services within the airspace of Lithuania, last year the share of overflights in comparison to 2021 comprised 67 percent of all flights, when in 2021 they accounted for 78 percent. 

According to Chief Executive Officer of Oro Navigacija Saulius Batavičius, the overflights traditionally comprised the lump part of all flights handled by air traffic control officers of Lithuania. 

Last year the share of the transit flights remained the most significant and reached the absolute number of 111.3 thousand, nevertheless it fell below the 70 percent mark. When estimating the changes in flight numbers per month, a very significant downfall in the number of transit flights was recorded after the sanction on Russian Federation were imposed. When the latter country started a war in Ukraine at the end of February and in returned received sanctions from the European Union, restraining the aircraft of the aggressor country from using the Union airspace, the transit flight flow which increased by 80-90 percent in comparison to 2021 during the period of January and February, started a sudden downfall and failed to recover for any of the months till the end of the year,” noted S. Batavičius. 

Redrawn airways

As the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania was closed for Russian airlines during the period from 27 February to 31 March last year the number of overflights of Russian airlines fell down by 21 percent in comparison to the same period in 2021, whereas the annual statistics dropped down by 13 percent. 

Russian airlines executing flights from Kaliningrad Region or to it are able to implement them using only the airspace above the high seas, certain sections of which are monitored by Lithuanian air traffic control officers as well.  

In 2022 the number of overflights executed by Finnair and Turkish Airlines increased, since due to the war in Ukraine the airlines changed their activity strategy and used Lithuanian airspace more often.

Despite the fact that China could use both European and Russian airspace, the zero COVID-19 policy introduced by this country influenced the activity of the airlines, thus, the number of overflights remained essentially unchanged. 

Lithuanian leader – Vilnius Airport

In 2022 the most intensive growth in Lithuania was recorded in Vilnius International Airport which is the biggest in the country. According to the data of Oro Navigacija, last year the number of flights in Vilnius comprised 36.5 thousand or 52 percent more than during the previous year.

The number of flights in Kaunas Airport increased by 53 percent and amounted to 10.4 thousand. Whereas the number of flights in Palanga Airport last year in comparison to 2021 increased by 92 percent up to 3.7 thousand, nevertheless, this airport still remains the least busy in Lithuania. 

Last year Šiauliai Airport handled 4.2 thousand flights or 54 percent more than in 2021. 

“When considering only the terminal flights at the airports of the country, their total amount last year was 54.8 thousand or 52 percent higher than the year before. The numbers are also undoubtedly related to the recovery of the aviation sector after the difficult period of the pandemic. Nevertheless, these flights comprise only a small number of all the flights handled by Oro Navigacija: in 2021 they amounted to 22 percent, whereas last year they accounted for 33 percent,” – noted Saulius Batavičius. 

Last year the flights of Irish Ryanair airlines to and from Lithuanian airports were the most intensive. Taking into consideration the numbers of terminal flights, the biggest share was also taken by Ryanair – 14 thousand or 25.7 percent of flights. The second place was taken by Latvian airBaltic (6.3 thousand flights, 11.5 percent), the third by Hungarian Wizzair (5.1 thousand flights or 9.3 percent), the fourth – Polish LOT (3.3 thousand or 6.1 percent), the fifth – Swedish SAS (2.7 thousand flights or 4.8 percent).  

During the previous year the busiest day within the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania was recorded on Sunday, the 2nd of January. On that day navigation services were provided to 700 flights. In 2021 the busiest day for Oro Navigacija was Sunday, the 29th of August 29 – in total 528 aircraft received the services. 



Updated at: 2023-02-07 16:05:24

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