Estonia's air travel recovering, but plane tickets expected to rise
Estonia's air travel has almost recovered to pre-coronavirus levels but good news may be short-lived as the flight prices are expected to rise in the near future.
In April, almost 217,000 passengers passed through Tallinn Airport, which is five times higher than the number in April 2021. This is 81 percent of the pre-pandemic level.
"Passengers have returned to Tallinn Airport and want to travel," Riivo Tuvike, chairman of the airport's board, told ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera". He estimated passenger numbers will be higher in May, reaching 85 percent of the pre-crisis level.
Flights have also returned. There will be a record number of planes departing from the airport this summer with 50 destinations on offer, 36 are scheduled routes while the others are charted.
"There are as many destinations today as in 2019," said Tuvike.
Airlines want to re-enter the market after the pandemic so tickets are cheap right now, he said. But costs are starting to rise as global fuel prices impact ticket prices.
"We can see by looking at Bulgaria or Crete that if you used could travel there for less than €300, now the prices are higher — €450 is the price now," said Svetlana Vertjanova, CEO of TEZ Tour agency.
Vertjanova hopes that tourism levels will be between 70 and 80 percent of what they were pre-pandemic. She said many people want to travel after the restrictions were lifted.
While Estonians are happy to start traveling again, fewer travelers than expected are visiting the Baltic states over fears related to the war in Ukraine.
"At the European level, Estonia is marked in red as a danger zone and this is understandable in some ways. /.../ Domestic tourism companies notice that there are fewer travelers here," said Vertjanova.
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Editor: Helen Wright