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Regional airline would add flights to island routes

Transaviabaltika plane.
Transaviabaltika plane. Source: (Jüri Norkroos/Transaviabaltika)

Transaviabaltika, the regional airline that operates flights to the islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa, wants to add departures on its Tallinn-Kuressaare route, but needs an according directive by the government of Saare County.

According to its passenger statistics, the airline reached a load factor of 77 percent on its Tallinn-Kuressaare route in June, while its Tallinn-Kärdla route remained at just 40 percent, similar to previous months. Depending on the operational background and industrial averages, a route is typically considered profitable starting from load factors of around 65 percent.

Transaviabaltika’s Rene Must said on Tuesday that they had moved 865 passengers between Tallinn and Kärdla and 1,457 between Tallinn and Kuressaare in June, also pointing out that there had actually been more scheduled flights to Kärdla than to Kuressaare.

“The Saare County government issued a directive to lower the number of flights around midsummer. We had just one flight to Kuressaare on Jun. 23, and cancelled the flight on Jun. 24 after an according decision by the county government,” Must said. He added that Transaviabaltika was ready to add flights, but a decision by the county government was needed for this.

According to Must, the sensible way to go would be to add flights to Kuressaare on Monday, Friday, and Sunday afternoon, which would also help to meet the increased demand during summer.

“In our assessment, and taking into account ticket sales for the Kuressaare route this summer, it would make sense to add afternoon flights to each of these popular days, and do it in such a way that they would leave Tallinn on Friday, Sunday, and Monday at 3:00 p.m., and fly from Kuressaare to Tallinn at 3:55 p.m.,” Must said.

Lithuanian Transaviabaltika won the tender for the island flights in 2016 and has a contract to operate the routes until May 31, 2019. The company’s operations are based on agreements with the island counties.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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