Tallinn Airport hopes SAS changes will bring better flight connections

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

Tallinn Airport hopes it can benefit from Scandinavian airline SAS' problems. This week the company announced it will get a new owner and leave the stock market.

Investment companies Castlelake, Air France-KLM and Lind Invest will take over the company, it was announced.

"This will be very useful for KLM and Air France, or Sky Team, to gain access to a larger market than they have had so far. It could also be useful for SAS. Many people may not know this, but SAS is part of the Star Alliance, but they are not involved in transatlantic traffic. They are excluded from it. If they join Sky Team, that will change and that could be very positive for SAS," said aviation expert Jan Palmèr.

SAS' priority is to become solvent.

"SAS already filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. a year ago, which effectively means that the company does not have a good prospect of paying off all its debts. This means that the company does not have as much money to pay its creditors from its capital," Luminor bank's Chief Economist Lenno Uusküla told Wednesday's "Aktuaalne kaamera".

Tallinn Airport does not think the changes will affect flights from the Estonian capital. They may even be beneficial in the long run.

"The Sky Team alliance has had a very weak presence in Tallinn. We are very pleased that Sky Team, through SAS, will now be more present in Tallinn. We hope that this will lead to better offers and that passengers will benefit the most from better offers," said Eero Pärgmae, a member of the airport's board.

"We see today that we need more flights to the Netherlands and France, so we would like to cooperate more with the alliance also in other markets," he added.

SAS shares fell more than 80 percent on Wednesday. The airline's creditors will probably lose the majority of their money.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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