Air connection to Asia possible if Tallinn runway lengthened, says airport chief ({{commentsTotal}})

Tallinn Airport on a wet day
Tallinn Airport on a wet day Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Tallinn could begin to offer direct connections to Thailand, for example, if the airstrip is lengthened by a few hundred meters, said Rein Loik, the CEO of Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport.

Loik said on ETV's “Ringvaade” that 2 million annual air passengers for a 1.3 million population nation is not too bad, as the industry is built on volume.

He said that much depends on the fate of Estonian Air, which has produced stable passenger numbers for the past 10 years.

The airport currently services around 5,000 passengers each day, amounting to 2 million on an annual basis. Twenty years ago that figure was only 336,000. Last year, 37,856 flights took off from Tallinn Airport. Frankfurt is the most popular destination of the 25 direct routes.

Loik said the biggest problem is that passengers fly mostly to hubs from Tallinn, and then take longer flights from Helsinki, Frankfurt and Riga.

The current runway, which is slightly over 3 kilometers in length, could be lengthened by 400 meters, which would allow the airport to accept larger aircraft in all weather conditions.