“Recently more and more airlines are terminating their flights to continental part of China. Three fourths of the flights which are delivered services in the Lithuanian airspace are overflights, moreover, China is one of the top five most popular destination countries for overflights crossing Lithuania, thus, it is possible that in February we will deliver services to less overflights than we had expected”, stated Mindaugas Gustys, the CEO of Oro Navigacija.
At the end of January, airlines from various countries, which execute overflights to China crossing Lithuania, namely, British Airways from Great Britain, Lufthansa from Germany, Air France from France, Austrian Airlines from Austria and Swiss Airlines from Switzerland, terminated their flights.
German cargo airline Lufthansa Cargo intends to adjust its schedule of flights to China. At the beginning of February Dutch airline KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will terminate its flights to China. American cargo airline UPS announced revocation of 22 flights to the above mentioned country.
Even though China is still one of the top five countries, the overflights to which are executed crossing Lithuania, a decrease in the number of flights to this country was recorded in January. 640 overflights to this country crossing Lithuania were delivered services during the first month of the year. This number was smaller by 6 percent than the results recorded during the same period last year.
The most popular country for overflights crossing Lithuania was the Russian Federation – air traffic controllers delivered services to 3.7 thousand of flights or 8 percent more than during the same period last year. Germany was the second in this ranking: services delivered to 2.4 thousand of flights (4.7 percent less than during the previous year), the third and the fourth places were shared by Latvia and Finland: services delivered to 943 (2.7 percent less) and 798 (1.4 percent more) flights respectively.
In January out of four international airports in Lithuania the biggest number of flights that the air traffic controllers delivered services to was Vilnius Airport – 3.6 thousand or 1.9 percent more than during the same period last year. That comprises 71.8 percent of all the flights delivered services to in the Lithuanian airports. According to the number of flights which were delivered services to the second place was taken by Kaunas, where 780 flights or 0.8 percent more than during the same period last year were delivered services to (15.7 percent of all the flights which were delivered services to in the international Lithuanian airports). The number of flights which were delivered services to in Palanga was 340 or 17.7 percent more than during the same period last year (6.8 percent of all the airports), while the results of Šiauliai were 281 flights or 10.2 percent less than during the same period last year (5.7 percent share of all the airports).
The airlines pay route and terminal charges for using the airspace and the air navigation services delivered within it. These funds constitute the reimbursement for the expenses incurred by the country the airspace of which is used.
For example, when the aircraft fly across the Lithuanian airspace, but take off or land in the airports of other countries, the airlines pay route charges for the air navigation services delivered to the airlines during such flights. When the aircraft take off from one of the Lithuanian airports, a terminal charge is collected for the air navigation services delivered to the airlines.
In accordance with the signed multilateral contract Lithuania entrusts Eurocontrol to calculate the air navigation changes and to collect them on its behalf. The expenses, related to calculation and collection of the charges, are reimbursed by the users of airspace.
Oro Navigacija covers its expenses from its main activity, namely, provision of air navigation services, entirely, and thus it is not maintained from the state budget.