Losses expected in Latvian air traffic sector due to war in Ukraine

Due to the limitation of Russian airspace, the revenues of the Latvian air traffic navigator State JSC Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme (LGS) could fall by 20-25%, Transport Minister Tālis Linkaits said in an interview to LETA March 16.

He said that the number of flights from Europe to Russia and Asia had fallen by around 75-80%. Thus, the LGS and dispatchers in the entire aviation block are the ones most affected by this situation and will need help.

“Those who are interested and look at Flyradar are wondering how it may be that planes fly to Russia. However, these are airlines from other countries - Turks, Egyptians, Serbs, Asian countries that continue to fly in this direction,” Linkaits said, adding that volume has decreased very significantly and that overall LGS revenues can be reduced by 20-25%.

He also mentioned that, along with the Ministry of Finance and other ministries, he would look at how LGS can be supported.

Asked if there was any way to restore flights over Latvia, the Minister stressed that it was not possible to force any aircraft to fly directly over Latvia. “We use the opportunities we have. We are one of the cheapest airspaces, so the economic factor works, but we cannot change geography. The good thing is that the Finns now fly across Latvia to Asia,” Linkaits said.

LGS last year, according to preliminary data, worked on a turnover of €19.223 million, which is 33.7% more than in 2020, while the company's losses fell 2.4 times - to €3.154 million.

LGS served 168 669 flights last year, up 25.1% over a year earlier, but 44.2% less than before the pandemic in 2019. Revenue from air navigation services accounted for 95.2% of LGS's turnover last year. LGS is a 100% state-owned company, it is obliged to provide airspace users with air navigation services.

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