After an oft-delayed two-year procurement process, NyxAir begun its operation on the Tallinn-Kuressaare route on Monday, December 21, taking off from the capital of Saaremaa in the early morning.
NyxAir's turboprop aircraft ATR 42-500 was constructed in 2005 and will fly back and forth twice a day on weekdays and once a day on weekends.
Transaviabaltika lost the contract as the terms of the new tender due to its aircraft being too old. A stipulation in the agreement required planes made no later than the year 2000.
The Road Administration began looking for a carrier capable of operating flights with a larger plane in 2018, but the first procurement failed. In the spring of 2019, previous carrier Transaviabaltika took a procurement to operate on the route for the next five years.
Nordica's subsidiary Regional Jet however challenged the outcome of the tender and it was eventually declared it invalid. A new procurement was announced in fall 2019 and a condition was added - the plane operating on the route was to be constructed after 2000. Transaviabaltika tried challenging that condition to no result.
The fall procurement was extended in the start of 2020 and eventually saw five companies submit tenders. After many delays, NyxAir was declared as the winner in August, but Regional Jet challenged the result. The tender was not overturned however and NyxAir finally came out on top.
Transaviabaltika had continued operating flights on a provisional basis while the appeal was going on.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste