Finnair will be operating Tartu-Helsinki flights again from March 31, with a one-way ticket going for €72.40.
Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas told ERR that the city government does not regulate the ticket price for Finnair.
"It is also important to note that the price is different flying from Tartu to Helsinki or vice versa compared to taking a connecting flight to somewhere else from Helsinki." he clarified.
Klaas said that people in Southern Estonia have been eagerly awaiting the return of international flights, adding that a recent survey put the socioeconomic effect of the Helsinki air link at €8.5 million.
Aviation expert Sven Kukemelk said that the price of airline tickets is made up of several components, including fuel costs and airport fees, while Finnair is not charging more for the Tartu-Helsinki link than other connections of comparable distance, such as Helsinki-Riga or Helsinki-Tallinn.
Kukemelk remarked that as people who live in Southern Estonia would first have to drive themselves to Tallinn Airport otherwise, the cost of taking the plane direct from Tartu is worth it.
He explained that no bus or train from Tartu arrives in Tallinn between 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. which is when most flights depart.
The expert also said that the greater Tartu area has potential, being home to 400,000 people, and that air links have proved themselves in areas of similar size in Finland, such as Vaasa and Turku.
Editor: Tõnis Grepp, Marcus Turovski