U.K.'s flag-carrier airline British Airways kicked off flights on its new route connecting Tallinn and London's Heathrow Airport on Tuesday.
Tallinn Airport CCO Eero Pärgmäe said that the arrival of British Airways' inaugural flight was a long-awaited moment of celebration, according to an airport press release.
"After lengthy negotiations and a busy preparation period, we were very pleased to welcome British Airways' red-white-and-blue Airbus A321 to Tallinn at 12:55 p.m. on Tuesday," sad Pärgmäe. "We believe that the addition of such a distinguished airline will increase the number of passengers between Tallinn and London and we remain hopeful that the frequency of flights between Tallinn and London will increase even more in the long-term."
London is a key destination for Estonia, with overall passenger numbers with direct and connecting flights combined reaching 150,000 annually.
Successfully attracting the major British airline to Estonia was the result of a joint effort by Tallinn Airport, Enterprise Estonia, the U.K. Embassy in Tallinn and the Estonian Embassy in London.
Enterprise Estonia's Tourism Board director Tarmo Mutso said that the arrival of British Airways in Estonia was a clear indication of excellent cooperation between all involved partners and the fact that a joint offer considerably increases the chances of bringing new airlines to Estonia. "The U.K. and London in particular are key destination markets for the Estonian tourms sector, both for leisure and business travelers," he explained. "The launch of British Airways' flights to Tallinn is proof that well-targeted proposals is the right strategy and we will continue with such cooperation on other routes as well."
"We are delighted that British Airways is starting up routes between London and Tallinn," commented Deputy Head of Mission of the British Embassy in Tallinn Kathryn Lindsay. "It is a tangible symbol of the close ties between our two countries. We wish BA and Tallinn Airport every success for their partnership and very much hope to see it develop and flourish to make it easier for Estonians and Brits to do business, share ideas and enjoy each other's cultural heritage."
Four flights per week
British Airways flights directly connecting the two capital cities will take place twice per direction per week during the summer season — on Tuesdays and Saturdays. The Tuesday flight will depart London at 8 a.m. and Tallinn at 1:55 p.m., while the Saturday flight will depart London at 3:45 p.m. and Tallinn at 9:35 p.m.
Heathrow Airport is connected to Central London by the Underground. It is also possible to connect to more than 220 additional destinations with British Airways via London.
British Ambassador to Estonia Theresa Bubbear greeted the flight on social media.
Editor: Aili Vahtla