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Nyxair confirmed as serving flights to Estonia's two largest islands

NyxAir's ATR 42-500 turboprop regional airliner at Kuressaare Airport in Saaremaa.
NyxAir's ATR 42-500 turboprop regional airliner at Kuressaare Airport in Saaremaa. Source: Mait Ots/ERR

Carrier NyxAir, which currently flies between Kuressaare, the capital of Saaremaa, and Tallinn, also now has the go-ahead to continue that route and also to provide flights between the mainland and Kärdla, the capital of Hiiumaa.

This follows the termination of litigation surrounding the route procurement committee's decision.

Nyxair's contract is valid until autumn 2027.

The Ministry of Regional Affairs and Agriculture is to sign the contracts for the new Kuressaare and Kärdla flight route procurements on February 15, ie. next Thursday.

As noted both routes will be served by NyxAir, which won the tender, and already flies to Kuresaare.

The new agreement for servicing the Kuressaare link will come into force on June 1 this year; with the Kärdla route the agreement comes into effect February 29.

In essence, nothing will change for passengers, NyxAir CEO Jaanus Ojamets says.

"This procurement which went ahead and is to come into force with regard to Kuressaare from June 1 will continues to use the planned 48-seater aircraft (pictured)."

"A 33-seater aircraft will operate the Kärdla route, starting from March 1," Ojamets said.

While in the case of the 48-seater, capacity is often insufficient, leading to complaints from frequent flyers, the ministry is not planning to increase the number of seats at present.

Head of the Ministry of Regional Affairs and Agriculture public transport department Andres Ruubas said: "There has been some talk about a larger plane, but the problem is that demand is higher in the summer."

"However in winter, demand is not that great. At the moment, 48 [seats] is the optimal figure, so we do not see any changes happening here in the immediate future," Ruubas went on.

The Kärdla-Tallinn flight procurement decision had been contested by Diamond Sky, which was the previous service provider. A court overruled Diamond Sky's appeal last August.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming

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