Expected 30,000 visitors during EU presidency to put Estonian flight connections to the test (1)
While the lion’s share of people associated with Estonia’s upcoming presidency of the EU will be traveling to the country from Brussels and Estonian officials will likewise be visiting there more frequently than usual, visitors can be expected from elsewhere in Europe as well.
Thus connections to Europe’s larger transit hubs, such as in Frankfurt and Munich, but also other nearby capitals such as Riga, Helsinki and Stockholm, will be especially important, wrote daily Eesti Päevaleht (link in Estonian).
Logistics director of the Estonian presidency Toomas Tirs said that while the agenda and other details of all events have not yet been finalized — e.g. whether guests attending a given conference or meeting will arrive in the evening or the morning — approximate volumes have been estimated for planning purposes and Tallinn Airport has been notified of these numbers.
He explained that in addition to airport officials, he has also repeatedly met with representatives from Estonian flag carrier Nordica and Latvian flag carrier Air Baltic and his colleagues have discussed the matter with Brussels Airlines as well. The airport has discussed the expected increase in air traffic with a number of other airlines as well.
"Our hope and expectation is that airlines who fly to larger hubs will take this into consideration as well," said Tirs.
According to Piret Sauter, head of the Marketing and Communications Department at Nordica, it is possible to fly larger planes that fit more passengers on routes from cities from which increased numbers of businesses travelers can be expected during Estonia’s presidency of the EU.
Additional connections have likewise been under consideration. Sauter noted that Nordica will be adding a new Tallinn-Hamburg connection in May and that the Estonian airline is also planning on increasing the frequency of flights between Tallinn and Brussels.