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Estonian Sea Wolf Express hasn't given up on plan to start services on Tallinn-Helsinki route

BC, Tallinn, 24.10.2017.Print version
Transport company Sea Wolf Express, which is planning to launch passenger services on the Tallinn-Helsinki route using a Russian-made ground effect vehicle, has not given up on its plan and is planning to start operating in a year at the earliest, the daily Postimees writes, cites LETA/BNS.

The reason for the delay in launching the route is the production of a new vessel, Ville Hogman, head of Sea Wolf Express, told the newspaper. Even though the prototype of the ekranoplan is essentially finished, hydrodynamic problems occurred during the testing of it.

Hogman said that it is wholly logical as the producer, Russian company RDC Aqualines in cooperation with them is essentially developing a completely new type of vehicle.

Tanel Joeaar, another head of Sea Wolf Express said, that even though their vehicles has been called a flarecraft, sea skimmer or ekranoplan, he himself would recommend calling it a ground effect vehicle. The vehicles is essentially a plane with trimmed wings to ensure that it does not lift off.

Sea Wolf Express has entered into a preliminary contract with the Russian factory for the production of 15 ground effect vehicles. As said, the company wishes to start offering new transport services on the Tallinn-Helsinki route, which could be an alternative to ferries and planes. The trip with a 12-seater vehicle would last approximately 30 minutes.

The one-way ticket must be booked in advance and is to cost approximately 100 euros. Once the project starts working, altogether 12 departures per day could take place. The largest natural obstacle for the work of the ground effect vehicles is big waves. If the waves exceed 4 meters in height, the trip is cancelled.

The cost of one such vehicle is approximately 1 million euros. Hogman said that the company's investors are Finns. Sea Wolf Express was founded in August 2015 and no economic activity took place in 2016. The company initially planned to start their activity in fall 2016.

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