NyxAir has to borrow Nordica plane to keep Saaremaa flight route open

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Regular NyxAir ATR 42-500 plane. Source: Margus Muld/ERR

Estonian airline NyxAir recently had to borrow a plane from state-owned carrier Nordica in order to keep the newly-opened flight link between Tallinn and the island of Saaremaa open, due to maintenance issues with its own aircraft.

Flights from Tallinn to Kuressaare, the island's capital, only started last week following NyxAir's being awarded the tender, replacing Lithuanian company Transaviabaltika.

NyxAir CEO Jaanus Ojamets told regional daily Saarte Hääl (link in Estonian) that the issue arose during maintenance work which required the disconnection of various pipes and hoses. Seals used in connecting these cannot be reused following disconnection, Ojamets said, but the holiday period delayed delivery of replacements, and on Sunday it became clear that the regular aircraft could not fly.

This prompted the loan of a plane from Nordica, which lost out to NyxAir in the procurement process for the Tallinn-Kuressaare route in the summer, from Sunday. Ojamets says the usual NyxAir plane, a 48-seat ATR 42-500 turboprop, will be back in service no later than Tuesday evening.

Transaviabaltika was unable to renew its contract long-term, following a stipulation in the tender which required planes less than 20 years of age to operate the route; Transaviabaltika's were older than this.

NyxAir operates two return flights between Saaremaa and Tallinn on weekdays, and one at weekends.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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