Finnair, the Finnish airline that started flying on the Tartu-Helsinki route on 28 March this year, has announced that it will discontinue the route at the end of October. The airline’s decision does not lead to the closure of the airport – the airport and its staff will continue to serve the Estonian Aviation Academy, medical and private flights.
“Finnair’s decision to close the flight connection from Tartu came as very sad and unpleasant news for us,” said board member of Tallinn Airport Eero Pärgmäe. “We are working hard to reopen scheduled flights from Tartu as soon as possible, but it’s too early to say whether it’ll be Finnair that reopens the route or some other airline.”
The suspension of scheduled flights does not mean that the airport will be closed. “In addition to serving scheduled flights, Tartu Airport has two other major and important tasks,” said Pärgmäe. “On the one hand, the airport offers future pilots of the Estonian Aviation Academy the opportunity to practice their skills using the airport’s modern infrastructure and ground equipment. On the other hand, the airport has an important role to play in saving lives by servicing the flights of the Tartu University Hospital.”
Since the reopening of the Tartu-Helsinki route in March, 5,989 passengers have flown on the route and 228 flight operations have been served.
Regional airports are important for regional development and sustainability, offering the possibility to travel both in Estonia and to neighbouring countries. A total of 42,663 passengers passed through regional airports in 2021.