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Former Estonian Air employees take Nordica to court

Planes in Estonian Air livery at Tallinn Airport.
Planes in Estonian Air livery at Tallinn Airport. Source: (Laura Oks/Postimees/Scanpix)

Nearly 60 former Estonian Air employees took Estonia's new national airline Nordica to court for a claim of over €1.7 million in severance pay.

Estonian Airline Pilots' Association representative Helen Reinhold told daily Postimees (link in Estonian) that a large number of Estonian Air employees have yet to receive their fair severance pay, which is why it was decided to take the new airline to court.

According to attorney Kalle-Kaspar Sepper of Sirel ja Partnerid, who is representing the former airline employees in the case, 59 former employees are seeing more than €1.7 million in unreceived severance and vacation pay as well as dismissal benefits.

"This is a very substantial dispute, which is being financed in large part on the plaintiffs' side by DA Õigusabikulude Kindlustuse AS, with whom many employees had concluded insurance contracts," he noted. "Without the support of this insurance, it would have been prohibitively expensive for the plaintiffs as private persons to bring such a large-scale case against a large company."

Sepper said that based on their evidence, Estonian Air took on a new form in Nordica, which is why the latter must also take responsibility for the claims of former Estonian Air employees.

According to Nordica CEO Jaan Tamm, however, Nordica is a new company which started its work from scratch.

Estonian Air terminated operations Nov. 7, 2015, after the European Commission's Directorate General for Competition ruled that financial aid provided to the airline constituted illegal state aid. As the airline did not have the money to pay this aid back, it thereafter filed for bankruptcy.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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