Stable flight growth in July, and the busiest day ever recorded

  • 2019-08-07
  • TBT Staff

The number of flights handled in the Lithuanian airspace in July made up 27.4 thousand and was by 1.2 per cent higher, compared to the same period last year. The peak day of the month was 27 July, Saturday, with 968 flights handled, the highest number throughout the enterprise’s history.

In July, overflights accounted for three quarters (77.9 per cent) of the total flight number. The overflight number reached 21.3 thousand and was by 1.1 per cent higher, compared to last year.

Vilnius airport saw the largest number of flights in July (4.1 thousand, by 0.7 per cent fewer, compared to last year in July) which accounted for 68.5 per cent of all flights handled in Lithuanian airports. There were 926 flights handled in Kaunas (higher by 5.5 per cent, compared to last year), i.e. 15.3 per cent of all flights handled in all international airports of the country. In Šiauliai air navigation services were provided to 547 aircraft (i.e. increase by 60 per cent compared to last year), the share of which in international Lithuanian airports reached 9 per cent. Compared to last year, by one fifth (21.2 per cent) fewer flights were handled in Palanga in July: 437 take-offs and landings.

“A slightly lower number of flights in Vilnius, compared to last year, was caused by the decrease of the Hungarian low-cost airline Wizzair’s aircraft base in the Lithuanian capital, reduction by one fifth of flights operated by the Scandinavian Airlines SAS, and the Small Planet Airlines’, the charter carrier’s, withdrawal from the market last autumn”, says Mindaugas Gustys, CEO of SE Oro navigacija.

According to him, a stable flight growth was observed in Kaunas, a 60 per cent increase in Šiauliai was due to such events held as the military exercises and the international air show Falcon Wings 2019, and a significant decrease in flight number in Palanga was determined mostly by almost halved operations by the Scandinavian Airlines SAS and two times fewer flights from/to Palanga operated by the low-cost airlines Ryanair and Wizzair.

It was on July 2019 (Saturday) that the largest number of flights, 968, were handled and it was the busiest day ever recorded in Lithuanian history. The above-mentioned figure includes all take-offs/landings from/at Lithuanian airports as well as overflights, the number of which reached 762, thus exceeding by 3.1 per cent last year’s overflight peak day, 16 June, when air navigation services to 739 aircraft were 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. 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.

Costs of SE Oro navigacija are fully covered by revenue from main activities and the enterprise receives no funds from the state budget.

According to data of the European Organization for the Safety of Air Navigation, Eurocontrol, over 30 thousand flights are daily operated in Europe.