Tallinn-Hiiumaa flights threatened by rising fuel prices

A plane flying between Tallinn-Kärdla.
A plane flying between Tallinn-Kärdla. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Transaviabaltika, which flies between Tallinn and Hiiumaa island, will cancel flights scheduled after June 15 due to rising fuel costs. The company will meet with the Transport Authority to discuss the situation next week.

Passengers who had flights booked for later in the year have received cancellation notifications.

Transaviabaltika spokesman Rene Must told ERR on Friday: "Transaviabaltika has not made a decision to terminate the route today. At the same time, in order to prevent major possible damages, all passengers have been notified at least two weeks in advance that there will be no flights."

He would not answer further questions.

Hiiumaa municipality mayor Hergo Tasuja said cancellations are due to rising fuel costs.

"The company could not have foreseen this when participating in the procurement three years ago and is now in difficulties," he said. "So far, the Transport Board has not found a solution to the problem with Transaviabaltika."

The air connection between the island and the mainland is crucial for the island, the mayor said. It not only ensures tourism and teleworkers but also irreplaceable medical care. 

The company is now negotiating with the Transport Authority and the public service contract is still in force, Mihkel Mäeker, head of the Public Transport Department, told ERR. He also suggested the reason was rising fuel prices.

"A meeting with the representatives of Transaviabaltika will be held at the beginning of next week to find solutions. Compensation for the increase in fuel prices has been stipulated in the contract and compensation has been paid in accordance with the contract," said Mäeker.

ERR has not received a comment from Transaviabaltika's head office in Lithuania.

The company won the competition to operate flights to the islands in 2019 and has a five-year contract.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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