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The number of flights in the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania increased by one tenth during the first six months in 2018 and yet there were no delays on account of control of the air traffic flows in our country’s airspace.
Air plane
Air plane
© Shutterstock

According to the data of the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation (Eurocontrol), as State Enterprise "Oro navigacija" ensures efficient control of the air traffic flows, airlines flying passengers across the territory of Lithuania did not experience any delays or aircraft retentions due to the services provided by the company during the months of January – June in 2018.

Meanwhile delays were recorded in the airspaces of Latvia and Estonia during the same period while the longest delays in Europe were recorded in the airspaces of Germany and France, where they ranged from 1.5 to 1.7 minutes per flight on average.

It should be noted that the longest delays in Latvia and Estonia were recoded in June with durations ranging from 10 to 15 seconds per flight on a route on average. At the same time delays in the airspaces of Germany and France in June ranged from 3 to 3.6 minutes per flight.

"Aircraft delays and retentions generate losses to airlines counted in thousands simultaneously causing inconveniences to passengers as well. We are happy that we manage finding solutions in the field of air traffic flows even upon a substantial increase in the number of flights which allow carrying out the planned flights across the airspace of Lithuania as scheduled. An additional flight control sector was opened allowing to increase the capacity of the upper airspace of the Republic of Lithuania by one third, the staff concentration and other complex measures enabled to successfully overcome the challenges encountered lately due to major increase in load on the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania", Mindaugas Gustys, the Chief Executive Officer of State Enterprise "Oro navigacija", said.

Air traffic controllers of "Oro navigacija" serviced over 126.4 thousand flights during the first six months this year: 10.8 percent more than during the same period last year. 95.3 thousand of them accounted for transit flights (11.7 percent more than the last year), when aircrafts flew across the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania, however, they took off or landed at the airport in other countries. The remaining 31.1 thousand flights (or 8.4 percent more than the last year) corresponded to terminal flights, when aircrafts flew across the airspace of Lithuania and took off or landed at one of the four international airports in Lithuania.

During the first six months in 2018 the top five most popular transit routes across the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania connecting two airports in other countries were the following: Moscow Sheremetyevo – Paris Charles de Gaulle, Moscow Sheremetyevo – Frankfurt, St. Petersburg Pulkovo – Kaliningrad Khabrovo, Moscow Sheremetyevo – Kaliningrad Khabrovo, Helsinki Vantaa – Munich F.J. Strauss. Even though the top five most popular pairs of transit routes across the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania have remained unchanged over the first six months in 2018 in comparison to the first six months in 2017, it should be noted that the number of flights flying the route Warsaw-Riga-Warsaw increased to 1495 flights over the period in question and this direction could become one of the top five most popular routes across the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania.

The main air traffic directions over the first six months in 2018 were direction Europe – Europe (48 percent of the total air traffic market across the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania), direction Europe – Russia – Europe (26.2 percent), direction Europe – South-East Asia – Europe (8.7 percent), direction Russia – Russia (from the main territory of the Russian Federation to Kaliningrad Region and vice versa, 7 percent), Europe – China – Europe (5.9 percent).

The most significant increase in the number of flights across the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania during the first six months this year in comparison to the same period in 2017 was recorded in the following directions: Europe – Europe (+7 264 flights), Russia – Europe – Russia (+2 908 flights), South-East Asia – Europe – South-East Asia (+830 flights), Europe – Africa – Europe (+409 flights), direction Russia – Russia (from the main territory of the Russian Federation to Kaliningrad Region and vice versa) (+291 flights) and other directions.

The most significant decline in the number of flights across the airspace of the Republic of Lithuania during the first six months in 2018 in comparison to the same period in 2017 was recorded in case of direction Central Asia – Europe – Central Asia (-489 flights). The main causes which led to decline in the number of flights in direction Central Asia – Europe – Central Asia were decline in the number of flights on the following routes: Stockholm – Dubai – Stockholm (-146 flights, flights organised by Airline "Norwegian Int"), Manchester – Islamabad – Manchester (-159 flights, flights organised by Airline "Air Pakistan"), Copenhagen – Dubai – Copenhagen (-61 flights, flights organised by Airline "Emirates").

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