Air travel in Estonia continues to recover from pandemic

SAS planes at Tallinn airport.
SAS planes at Tallinn airport. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

A total of 172,424 passengers passed through Tallinn Airport in March, marking a five-fold increase on year and reaching 75 percent of pre-pandemic passenger numbers. Saaremaa's Kuressaare Airport also set a new passenger record for the month, surpassing even pre-pandemic numbers.

March saw an increase in both the number of regular flights as well as in their average load factors, but the effect the war in Ukraine has had on Europe's internal flight connections has been more modest than predicted, Tallinn Airport CCO Eero Pärgmäe said according to a press release.

"We can confirm that all flights are being — and will continue to be — operated along safe flight corridors," he added.

Regular flights were operated to 35 destinations in March, along with charter flights to Egypt and the Canary Islands. Wizz Air also launched a new route between Tallinn and Venice.

Ryanair, which is launching its new Tallinn-Nuremberg route on Friday, had the biggest market share at Tallinn Airport in march, carrying 27 percent of all passengers. They were followed by airBaltic with 21 percent and Lufthansa and Finnair at 10 percent of passengers each.

In all, 2,972 flights were operated at Tallinn Airport in March, averaging 96 take-offs and landings per day.

Kuressaare Airport breaks passenger number record

A total of 4,128 passengers passed through the country's regional airports in March, including 2,720 passengers served by Kuressaare Airport on the Western Estonian island of Saaremaa. This marked a 42 percent increase on pre-pandemic figures and set a new record for the month.

Kärdla Airport on the neighboring island of Hiiumaa served 812 passengers, an increase of 74 percent on year. Transaviabaltika operates 12 flights per week between Kärdla and Tallinn.

Ruhnu Airport served 263 passengers last month, from which flights were operated to both Pärnu and Kuressaare. This marked an increase of 16 percent on year.

Tartu Airport served 208 passengers in March. Following a two-year pause, Finnair resumed flights between Tartu and Helsinki on March 28.

Summer may also see growth in both passenger and flight numbers in Pärnu, with direct flights to Helsinki to launch on May 5 and to Stockholm on June 25. Pärnu Airport served 125 passengers on the Ruhnu route last month.

While Estonia repealed its public mask mandate on April 3, many airlines are still requiring their passengers to wear a mask on board, so passengers should make sure they have masks with them when they arrive at the airport. Tallinn Airport also continues to recommend wearing a mask at the airport in situations where social distancing isn't possible.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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