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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 02.06.2020, 10:11

Estonia: Nordica due to publish 2018 financials in June

BC, Tallinn, 15.05.2019.Print version
Nordic Aviation Group, the state-owned Estonian carrier operating under the Nordica brand, carried over 2.2 mln passengers in 2018, and the financial results of the company are due to be published in June, spokespeople said BC.

The passenger figure for 2018 is 2.5 times bigger than the number of passengers carried in the most successful years of operation of the previous state-owned flag carrier, the company said.

At the beginning of 2019, Nordica discontinued regular flights to St. Petersburg, Oslo and Amsterdam. The two latter services had been a part of Nordica's line network since the company's inception. The move to close down the services was made due to economic considerations, the CEO of Nordic Aviation Group, Hannes Saarpuu, has said.

The CEO said that while the St. Petersburg and Amsterdam services were given up due to low demand, the closure of the Oslo line was the result of intense competition. 

"We would rather direct our resources to profitable projects, which will strengthen our financial results. Like every other company, we must also foremost be profitable and future changes in the route network serve that very purpose. Nordica's ability to be flexible and respond promptly to market changes is a significant factor in ensuring long-term success," Saarpuu said in a press release in November.

The Nordica subsidiary Regional Jet, which provides aviation services to Northern Europe's largest airline SAS, the Polish national carrier LOT and its own parent Nordica, expects its growth to continue this year. Regional Jet experienced strong growth last year in terms of aviation services and passenger figures. The increase in passenger numbers is primarily due to closer cooperation with SAS.

"Our subsidiary Regional Jet has done a great job, and today, there's reason to be satisfied with Nordica both for its on-time record and the regularity of service. This year has started at a completely new level of quality. This Estonian airline is now becoming a medium-sized European carrier, as the growth of Nordic Aviation Group is certain to continue this year in terms of fleet size and passenger numbers," Saarpuu, who is about to leave the office of CEO of Nordic Aviation Group in the middle of this month, said.

The chairman of the management board of Regional Jet, Jan Palmer, said he was content with how the company was developing.

"In 2016, with one plane, we started providing aviation operations to our parent Nordica, who was also our first customer. Now, 36 months later, we have four to five major partners in cooperation, we operate 19 planes and transport over two mln passengers each year. That's a noteworthy achievement for Estonian aviation and we plan to continue climbing this year. I’m pleased to say that Estonia is sharing in the growth of the aviation sector," Palmer said.

Mikael Wangdahl, vice president for external production at SAS, also praised the Estonian airline's operations.

"We started our first cooperation project in Denmark in 2017, where Regional Jet's four ATR72-600 type planes entered use. That was a very big challenge for SAS and Regional Jet, but thanks to great cooperation, we have developed a good, reliable product for passengers and I'm very pleased with the developments," Wangdahl said.

Regional Jet currently operates 12 CRJ-type and seven ATR72-type aircraft, with its main markets located in Scandinavia, Estonia and Central Europe. Nordic Aviation Group employs more than 500 people in Estonia and other countries. Routes from Tallinn are served by five planes while 14 planes are flying on routes outside Estonia. Plans are for the number of routes outside Estonia to be raised further this year. SAS has emerged as the largest customer for Nordic Aviation Group.

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