A record number of passengers flew between the island of Hiiumaa and the Estonian mainland last year, local daily Hiiu Leht reports.
A total of 11,849 used the island's air link and the airport at Kärdla, Hiiumaa's capital, in 2022, compared with a previous high of 10,946 in 2019, Hiiu leht says (link in Estonian).
By month, July remains the most popular time of year to visit the island, which, with a population density of less than 10 people per square kilometer and an overall population of less than 10,000, is an ideal location to unwind in; while in 2022, 1,448 people traveled by air to and from Hiiumaa, in 2021, the figure was in fact higher – at 1,663.
This was largely down to the pandemic and international transport restrictions, which led to a growth in domestic tourism.
This effect continued beyond summer – numbers reached four figures from May to October inclusive, Hiiu Leht says, whereas usually this is only achieved in the high season, ie. June to August, or thereabouts.
At the same time, flying had in any case become a more popular means of travel to Hiiumaaa in recent years.
In the longer perspective, the average number of passengers per month has risen, from 624 in 2015, to 987 last year.
While the island is a popular vacation location, more people fly from Kärdla to Tallinn, on the whole
For instance in January last year, 346 people flew to Tallinn from Hiiumaa, compared with 284 in the opposite direction.
Upgrades at Kärdla airport have led to a fall in flight cancellations, the paper adds.
Hiiu Leht is an independent publication. The original Hiiu Leht article (in Estonian) is here.
Lithuanian carrier Transaviabaltika operated the air connection between Hiiumaa and the mainland last year, though a new public procurement process will reportedly be held this year also.
The island is also regularly served by ferry, between Rohuküla, on the mainland, and Heltermaa.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: Hiiu Leht