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Estonian Air switches planes

BC, Tallinn, 30.07.2015.Print version
Estonia's national carrier Estonian Air will replace its Embraer 170 planes with Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft in the coming months, LETA/Postimees reports.

The leasing for Finnair's Embraer aircraft expires and the planes will be gradually returned. According to plan, the first comes off the line on Saturday, the last at the end of October.


"We have already signed a contract for taking two jet-type aircraft," said member of the board of Estonian Air Indrek Randveer.


The new Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft arrives in Estonia in mid-September. This means that for some time, ATR turboprop aircraft will service shorter routes.


While the currently used Embraer170 planes have 76 seats, Bombardier CRJ-700 aircraft can accommodate 70 passengers.


Randveer said the Bombardiers are very much suitable. "We economise a total of 25% of the lease payment," he said. Also CRJ-700 uses less fuel. Transition to just one type of planes also means lower training and maintenance costs.


Reaching the new agreement was a complex process and the agent finally found what was necessary in Lufthansa.


The four Embraers that Estonian Air used will first go back to the factory and then to the lessor Finnair. If Estonian Air's workload is high, Finnair allows using two Embraers till the end of the winter season end return them then.


Estonian Air signed a new contract this week, renting two aircraft to Austrian Airlines. The agreement is valid until the end of the year. For the duration of the contract, Estonian Air uses one 50-seater jet-type aircraft Embraer 145, which has a suitable size for the Estonian market and sufficiently economical.


Estonian Air rents its planes to larger companies for shorter periods of time. So, this week, SAS rents a plane briefly. "They do not want a long agreement. Due to the European Commission's investigation, we are poor partner, "explained Randveer.


Major airlines prefer, however, contracts lasting years. Estonian Air has the possibility of getting longer contracts in the autumn, when the European Commission has pledged to make known the decision, whether granting state aid to Estonian Air was legal.

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