Lithuanian Transaviabaltika wins tender to fly to Saaremaa and Hiiumaa.
Lithuanian company Transaviabaltika won the tender of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications to operate subsidized flights between the Estonian islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa and the mainland.
Transaviabaltika will start operating the routes from Tallinn to Kuressaare and Kärdla in early June.
In accordance with the terms of the tender, the size of the subsidy on the Tallinn-Kuressaare-Tallinn route is €1,980, and on the Tallinn-Kärdla-Tallinn route €1,520 per departure. The frequency will remain unchanged for both routes at 12 flights per week.
Transaviabaltika will use a 19-seat Jetstream 3200 aircraft as well as a 19-seat LET L-410 to operate the routes.
The routes were previously operated by Estonian carrier AS Avies, the air operator's certificate of which was suspended by the Civil Aviation Administration at the beginning of April.
According to the timetable, the morning flight from Kärdla will depart at 7:45, the morning flight from Kuressaare at 9:30. Departing from Tallinn, the flight to Kärdla will depart at 5 p.m. and the flight to Kuressaare at 6:35 p.m. On weekends, the flights leave later.
The contract to be signed will cover services until May 2019.
At the same time, the ministry is conducting a broader analysis on how to ensure quality regional air connections in Estonia in the future. A new public procurement tender to award the contract for the period after May 2019 is expected for 2018.