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Estonian Air working on a new ‘layover flights’ strategy

Juhan Tere, Tallinn, BC, 08.11.2010.Print version
Estonian Air’s new strategy foresees providing a number of new destinations for the Estonian customers, but operate the routes with layover stops in Vilnius or in the airports of Poland, writes the National Broadcasting.

The new chairman of the supervisory board of Estonian Air Joakim Helenius stated on Friday at a press conference that it is clear that the State as the 90-per-cent shareholder of the airline is not interested in keeping injecting funds to the enterprise, rather it expects the airline to start making profit, LETA informs.


It is difficult to earn profits with the current strategy of few direct flights and a sparse flight schedule and hence the executives of Estonian Air have come up with a plan that they call a ‘layover strategy’ or ‘bounce strategy’.


Helenius explained that for passengers, the new strategy would mean taking into account an approximately 40-minute layover in Vilnius or in Gdansk in flying to Frankfurt. Estonian Air has tested the system on the route Tallinn-Vilnius-Amsterdam and has achieved an average occupancy rate of 83 per cent and in July the rate of 90 per cent.


CEO of Estonian Air Andrus Aljas remarked that implementation of such a scheme would make it possible to fly every day to such destinations as, for example, Paris, London, Milan, Rome etc. This would not, however, mean that Estonian Air would lose direct flights altogether. “On the routes that are already earning a profit – to Moscow, Brussels, Copenhagen – we would continue making direct flights.


Helenius added that the so-called stop & go strategy has potential as in Poland with its nearly 40 million residents, 10 airports are bigger than that in Tallinn, but only the Warsaw airport has good direct links to European capitals.


Estonian Air is hoping to reveal a more detailed plan on the strategy by February.

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