Airport, Estonia, Latvia, Tourism, Transport

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Estonian Air welcomes intention of airBaltic, but sees bad impact on the number of flights from Tallinn

Juhan Tere, BC, Tallinn, 12.03.2010.Print version
Estonian carrier's Estonian Air Deputy President in charge of commerce Rauno Parras noted that the enterprise welcomes the intention of Latvian national airline airBaltic to step up the competition, but in the current context Latvian counterpart is not having a good impact on the number of flight routes from Tallinn, writes LETA/Aripaev.ee.

"The more aircrafts bearing different colours take off from the Tallinn Airport, the better," noted Parras. "The multitude of destinations and service providers increases Estonia's openness and is indeed necessary for the state's transport and tourism policies," he added, explaining that greater competition would benefit both customers as well as service providers.

 

"At the same time, it is extremely important that the competition be fair and transparent," emphasised Parras.

 

He noted that expansion to neighbouring countries is an inevitable course of action for airlines in the current economic situation.

 

"Estonian Air has also already taken its step in that direction, expanding its business to the Lithuanian market – last month, in co-operation with one of the biggest airlines in the world, KLM, we launched flights on the route between Vilnius and Amsterdam," Parras added.

 

Estonian Air Deputy President emphasised that Estonian Air is the only airline with the main focus on developing flight links from Estonia to elsewhere whereas the main interest of the Latvian airline and of the Riga Airport is to direct as many passengers as possible to fly via the Latvian capital.

 

Parras commented that while in the short-term perspective, airBaltic launching new routes from Tallinn would seem to be contrary to their long-term goal to multiply the number of air passengers via Riga, in the long-term perspective, there is already an example from Lithuania where the extra aggressive policy towards competition, implemented by the Latvian airline, ended up in paralysing Lithuania's local flight links to the rest of the world for several months.






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