A new carrier operating flights between Tallinn and Kuressaare, the capital of the island of Saaremaa, brings with it a change to flight timetables, in response to islanders' complaints that the morning service to Tallinn arrived too late in the day.
NyxAir won the tender last week after a lengthy process, replacing Lithuanian firm Transaviabaltika, and the new company's connections from Tallinn will soon leave the capital an hour earlier than the previous service, regional daily Saarte Hääl says.
Saarte Hääl says the Tallinn-Kuressaare weekday flight is planned to depart 7.05 a.m., and will arrive twenty minutes later.
The return journey departs at 8.30 a.m., touching down in Tallinn at 8.50 a.m.
The existing Transaviabaltika timetable saw flights leave Tallinn at 8.45 a.m., with the return journey from Kuressaare departing at 9.40 a.m., which some local residents on Saaremaa said brought them to the capital too late in the day.
Evening flights in the tender agreement will be 6.30 p.m. from Tallinn, touching down on Saaremaa at 6.50 p.m., and leaving Kurssaare at 7.55 p.m. for an 8.15 p.m. arrival in Tallinn.
The exact timetable is yet to be finalized, however, and will become clear once the service starts, a Road Administration (Maanteeamet) spokesperson said.
Ticket prices, reportedly guided by economics affairs ministry regulations, are capped at €34, which will be the price for flexible/refundable tickets, with the non-refundable version likely to cost €26, one-way.
A total of five carriers filed their tender offers for the €16.8 million contract to operate the Tallinn-Kuressaare service, with Estonian company Nyxair OÜ picked. The outcome was challenged by Regional Jet, a subsidiary of state-owned airline Nordica, however, leading to months of delays.
Transaviabaltika failed to win a new tender, which was announced after new rules said aircraft made no longer ago than 2000 would have to operate the route. The Lithuanian firm's Jetstream 32 turboprop planes were older than this.
NyxAir offers charter and scheduled flights in Estonia and, since August, on domestic routes in Sweden.
Editor: Andrew Whyte