Estonian foreign minister: Tallinn Airport fee increase should be reviewed

Urmas Reinsalu.
Urmas Reinsalu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) has criticised Tallinn Airport's decision to raise its fees. Reinsalu told a government press conference, that the airport's decision ought to be reconsidered.

"I am very alarmed by the decision regarding a 30 percent increase in airport fees," Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) told a government press conference on Thursday.

"There has been no increase (in airport fees) for ten years. Yet now, when we still haven't recovered from the coronavirus pandemic and the (associated) capacity restrictions, we are going to start chasing justice, so to speak, with this 30 percent (increase). And what did we get for it? Nine routes were shut down. Let's consider for a moment, how few of these routes we actually have departing from Tallinn," Reinsalu said.

"In reality, it was us who asked Ryanair to come and be here because we knew it would bring in revenue and enable our people to travel. And now, out of the blue, two plus another seven routes have been closed. I think, that the decision needs to be reconsidered," Reinsalu said.

According to Reinsalu, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' position is, that low airport fees add value in their own right by boosting the number of flight routes in and out of Tallinn.

He added, that if Tallinn Airport needs funding to make new investments, the possibility of using state aid to do so may be considered. "The state has a strategic interest here, in relation to the economy and tourism, as well as the direction we are taking in business development. We have gone in the direction of developing business tourism, yet now we are closing ourselves off to seven EU countries," Reinsalu said.

"In this case, we have to get back around the table and renegotiate to find solutions," Reinsalu said.

Last week, budget airline Ryanair said that its decision to close six of flight routes from Tallinn Airport was a reaction to the airport's move to increase fees. Ryanair has challenged Tallinn Airport's decision with the Estonian Competition Authority, with the verdict currently pending.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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