Why Tallinn Airport to Receive €14.5M Instead of Nordica

Tallinn Airport
via: Tallinn Airport
Avatar of Binayak Karki
Written by Binayak Karki

The state plans to allocate €14.5 million to the airport, aiming to keep fees low and secure essential flight routes.

<

In a significant development for Estonia‘s air travel landscape, the national airline Nordica will discontinue its operations, prompting the government to shift focus to support Tallinn Airport.

The state plans to allocate €14.5 million to the airport, aiming to keep fees low and secure essential flight routes.

Minister of Climate Kristen Michal, from the Reform Party, highlighted the need to assess private interest in privatizing Nordica by February. The government’s decision to redirect funds to the airport is seen as a strategic move to ensure the continuity of crucial flight connections.

Michal explained that the financial support for Tallinn Airport aims to maintain competitive charges, making the airport more attractive to airlines. The government’s goal is to foster quality direct connections, especially to key destinations such as Brussels, Munich, Amsterdam, and Copenhagen, which have seen a decline in connectivity.

Aviation expert Sven Kukemelk emphasized the importance of being prepared to procure direct flights if commercial interest diminishes.

He noted that other airports in Lithuania, Scandinavia, and Poland have already adopted this approach, suggesting Estonia should have a prepared toolbox for such scenarios.

Kukemelk discussed various models used by countries to retain direct connections, including public companies, foundations, and business development units. However, the government currently does not see the need to establish a separate entity or fund specifically for organizing air traffic in strategically important directions.

Minister Michal stated, “We don’t need a separate state company to organize the procurement of routes,” highlighting that Tallinn Airport already organizes various connections, and route procurement is handled by the state as the contracting authority. The government’s decision reflects a commitment to ensuring the country’s air travel remains robust and well-connected despite the discontinuation of Nordica’s operations.

What’s Happening with Nordica: Nordica’s Rise and Fall

Estonia’s national airline Nordica, initially established in 2015 as the successor to the bankrupt Estonian Air, has officially ceased its scheduled flights. Nordica, part of the Nordic Aviation Group AS, played a crucial role as the flag carrier of Estonia from 2016 to 2023.

After discontinuing scheduled flights to Sweden in October 2023, the airline has pivoted to operations under wet-lease contracts on behalf of other European carriers.

The company’s journey began with its inaugural flight to Amsterdam in November 2015, operated by wet-lease partner BMI Regional.

Over the years, Nordica entered into a strategic partnership with LOT Polish Airlines, leveraging LOT’s commercial platform and flight code. However, this partnership concluded in early 2021 when Nordica acquired all LOT shares in Xfly, its subsidiary.

In 2018, Nordica expanded by opening a base at Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands, serving routes to Copenhagen, Munich, Ibiza, and Nice.

Nevertheless, the airline faced challenges, leading to the closure of routes from Tallinn Airport and the shutdown of its Groningen base in 2019.

Amid the global pandemic in February 2020, Nordica’s subsidiary Regional Jet successfully rebranded to Xfly, expressing interest in expanding its operations with additional aircraft.

Although these plans were disrupted by the pandemic, the rebranding contributed to the growth and expansion of the company. As of today, Xfly and Nordica collectively operate a fleet of 19 aircraft, with plans to add three Airbus A320neo aircraft in spring 2023.

The group, known as the Nordic Aviation Group, consists of two trusted CPA airlines, Nordica and Xfly, employing over 600 people of 30 different nationalities. Xfly Aviation Academy and a growing maintenance team are integral parts of the group, ensuring a sustainable and robust future for the company.

Nordica’s codeshare agreements currently include none, while it had previously utilized a codeshare agreement with Lufthansa for connections to Munich.

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS ARTICLE:

  • The government’s decision to redirect funds to the airport is seen as a strategic move to ensure the continuity of crucial flight connections.
  • In 2018, Nordica expanded by opening a base at Groningen Airport Eelde in the Netherlands, serving routes to Copenhagen, Munich, Ibiza, and Nice.
  • Nevertheless, the airline faced challenges, leading to the closure of routes from Tallinn Airport and the shutdown of its Groningen base in 2019.

About the author

Avatar of Binayak Karki

Binayak Karki

Binayak - based in Kathmandu - is an editor and author writing for eTurboNews.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Share to...