Statistics: Air travel up, domestic travel down in Estonia to Q3 2021

Passengers wearing masks on a Tallinn tram.
Passengers wearing masks on a Tallinn tram. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Public transport usage fell slightly on year to the third quarter of 2021 (Q3 2021) in Estonia, while rail and maritime transport similarly fell. While most international travel categories also saw a fall in passenger uptake, air travel picked up on 2020.

Public transport

Public transport saw 35 million trips made in Q3 2021 Statistics Estonia reports, a figure a third down on that for the last full pre-pandemic year, 2019.

The bulk of these were on city buses, trolleybuses and trams, which fell between 13 and 15 percent depending on whether looking at the country as a whole or at urban areas only.

Passengers numbers on declined 6 percent on inter-city and rural municipality routes, though only fell a little, 1 percent, on longer distance routes and actually rose, by 19 percent, with charter routes, the agency says.


Passenger turnover of Estonian transport companies, on the other hand, rose on year to Q3 2021, to 827 million passenger-kilometers, a 5 percent increase,

Rail passenger volumes rose by 5 percent to some 1.8 million, despite a lack of international transport between Estonia and Russia following Covid-related border closures, Statistics Estonia says.

Maritime and road

Maritime transport was used by close to 1.8 million passengers in Q3 2021, a 16-percent fall on year.

716,000 passengers travelled international routes, and over a million used domestic routes.

Inland waterway transport was taken up by 31,000 passengers, a 74 percent rise on year to Q3 2021.

The fall in international maritime and also road transport was mostly the result of Covid restrictions and border closures, the agency said.

International transport

International transport also aw a 13 percent year-on-year fall to 930,000, the agency reports.

The pandemic was the main factor in the fall in public transport usage, the agency says, though Q3 saw more public transport trips made than in Q1 2021 (27 million) or Q2 2021 (29 million).

Air travel

Air travel saw Estonian air carriers transport 113,000 passengers, a massive (five-fold) increase on the same quarter in 2020, though still a way off recovery ,at 42 percent less than in 2019.

International, rather than domestic, flights made up the bulk of these numbers.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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