Friday, 17 March 2017

ESTONIA: Nordica Is Estonias Busiest Airline,SmartLynx Airlines Helps VietJet Air

State-owned Estonian carrier Nordica, which was created to take over defunct Estonian Air, managed to right away become the busiest airline in its home airport of Tallinn.

The operator reports that in 2016 it serviced more than 18% of the regular passenger traffic going through the capital’s gateway which in absolute figures means more than 365 thousand people.

Although Nordica has not announced its precise share, the carrier underlines it is going 0.1% ahead of the next contender on the rating list.

Tallinn Airport’s 2016 Report says the second busiest airline is Latvian flag carrier airBaltic followed by Ryanair, Lufthansa and Finnair.

All of the companies are reported to control from 10% to 15% of Tallinn’s overall passenger traffic.

Last year the airport of the Estonian capital serviced more than 2.22 million people, which is 2.5% more than a year before. It operates 23 destinations all year round and 34 destinations within the summer schedule.

Nordica’s website says its regular flight network includes 12 destinations, namely to Vilnius (Lithuania), Kyiv (Ukraine), Stockholm and Örebro (Sweden), Oslo and Trondheim (Norway), Copenhagen (Denmark), Amsterdam and Groningen (the Netherlands), Brussels (Belgium), Munich (Germany) and Vienna (Austria). All flights are performed under the code-sharing agreement with LOT Polish Airlines.

This Warsaw-based carrier is actually looking into a 49% share in the Estonian operator.

It is exactly in the interest of the Polish partner that Nordica serves Warsaw from Tallinn and both Stockholm and Vilnius from Warsaw.

Nordica started operation in November 2015. Its fleet currently consists of two Bombardier CRJ700 regional jets as well as four CRJ900s.

Estonian branch of Latvian carrier SmartLynx Airlines, whose revenue is by about 80% generated through ACMI agreements, has sent its fleet, two Airbus A320, to fly for Vietnamese low-cost carrier VietJet Air.

Both of SmartLynx Estonia's aircraft fitted with 180 seats in single-class configuration will be based at Noibai airport located in 45 km from downtown Hanoi.

The aircraft with tail numbers ES-SAK and ES-SAM were ferried to the capital of Vietnam in mid-January. The Estonian carrier and its Vietnamese partner signed the ACMI agreement in the fall of 2016.

According to Flightradar24 service, the Estonian aircraft are now operated on VietJet Air's flights to Danang, Phu Quoq, Ho Chi Minh and Hue.

Each aircraft operates from five to nine daily flights inside Vietnam. SmartLynx' PR manager Ilva Priedniece told Russian Aviation Insider that both aircraft will fly for VietJet Air until mid-February.

SmartLynx has had similar contracts with Vietnamese operators in the past. Since May 2016 the Latvian airline has been helping another local low-cost carrier, Jetstar Pacific Airlines. According to Priedniece, the agreement will be in effect until mid-May 2017.

SmartLynx Airlines also has experience of providing ACMI services to operators in the UK, Germany, Israel, Spain, the UAE, Poland, Portugal, Tajikistan, Turkey, Czech Republic, Sweden, Equatorial Guinea etc.