Flights between Tartu-Helsinki planned to start on 31 March
Tartu City Government Press Release
21 December / Finnair Oyj, the airline that submitted a bid in the public tender organised for servicing the Tartu-Helsinki route, wishes to begin regular flights between Tartu and Helsinki from 31 March 2024. For the performance of the public service obligation, Finnair would like to receive a total of EUR 3,203,038 in compensation from the City of Tartu for regularly scheduled flights until the end of 2027.
The amount of the compensation would be EUR 640,607 (for three quarters) in 2024, and EUR 854,143 per year during the period 2025–2027.
Scheduled flights between Tartu and Helsinki are subject to agreement between the City of Tartu and Finnair Oyj which is planned to take place at the end of this year. Finnair would use a 72-seat ATR aircraft belonging to subcontractor Nordic Regional Airlines OY (Norra) on the route.
According to Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas, the restoration of international air traffic is very important for the competitiveness of Tartu and South-Estonia. ‘It was very important for us to get air traffic up and running for 2024, when Tartu will be the European Capital of Culture. We also consider it important that the proposed flight schedules are suitable for both tourists and business travellers,’ the mayor explained.
The Tartu-Helsinki route is subject to a public service obligation for a period of four years (until the end of 2027), and during this period the route must be operated on the basis of a timetable that provides for 12 weekly flights from Tartu to Helsinki and back. The aircraft operating the flights must have at least 60 seats. Finnair Oyj was the only airline to submit a bid by the deadline in the Tartu-Helsinki route public tender announced on 29 September 2023.
Following the termination of air services in 2022, the City of Tartu began analysing the possible legal conditions for organising and continuing to support flights from Tartu. It has become clear from consultations with various air carriers that no airline is prepared to operate international flights from Tartu today under current market conditions. Under such circumstances, in order to ensure the operation of international flight connections, it was possible to impose a public service obligation for the city on the most suitable international route, and to subsidise flying from Tartu from the City of Tartu’s budget. Helsinki Airport was selected as the most suitable destination on the basis of an economic study carried out beforehand.
Additional information: Urmas Klaas, Mayor of Tartu, 513-5145; Jüri Mölder, City Secretary, 503-2089.
Last changed 24.01.2024