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Tartu-Helsinki flights unlikely to start on January 1

Tartu Airport.
Tartu Airport. Source: Tartu Airport

Flights between Estonia's second-largest city and the Finnish capital will not start on January 1, Tartu City Government said on Sunday, despite an agreement with Finnair to do so.

A tender signed between the city and the airline agrees on 12 flights back and forth each week for the next four years. Tartu will partly fund the connection.

The terms of the agreement specified a start date of January 1, 2024, but as there was only one offer by Finnair, this is likely to be delayed.

"Of course, we had hoped that there would be more bidders, but perhaps this situation is a reflection of today's situation in both the aviation market and the wider economy," Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas (Reform) told "Aktuaalne kaamera".

"It has to be verified whether the amount of compensation Finnair is requesting is compatible with State aid rules and meets the conditions set by the European Commission.

"So with all this work ahead, it's hard to imagine that from January 1 any new news could be shared," Klaas added.

Flights between Tartu and Helsinki ended with the coronavirus pandemic and attempts to restore them have not been successful.

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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

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