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Photo: Tallinn Airport

Stockholm route boosts TLL’s fortunes

The number of passengers at Tallinn Airport increased by 14% in February – and nearly by 40% on the Tallinn-Stockholm route.

Tallinn Airport’s passenger numbers continue to increase – lately driven by the fact that four airlines are competing on flights to and from the Swedish capital.

The Estonian gateway served nearly 195,000 passengers in February, which is 14% more than the same month last year.

For the first time, the most popular direct link in February is Tallinn-Stockholm, which is now served by four airlines – the Estonian flag carrier Nordica, its aggressively expanding Latvian rival airBaltic now flying to all three Scandinavian capitals, plus SAS and Norwegian.

With up to nine flights per day on the route, over 20,000 passengers flew between the capitals of Estonia and Sweden during the 28 days of last month – almost 40% more than last February.

According to Eero Pärgmäe, Tallinn Airport’s commercial director, such an increase in the popularity of the link can be explained by the increased capacity making fares more affordable.

“The importance of Stockholm as a hub has increased and will probably increase further because there are up to nine flights to Arlanda Airport per day,” he explained.

Besides Stockholm, passenger numbers continued to rise for the majority of direct routes that reach a total of 25 destinations from the Estonian capital.

A decline could be observed only through the termination of flights to nearby St Petersburg in Russia by Nordica, as well as changes in routes to Munich and Amsterdam.

Nordica’s “withdrawal”
The year so far has also seen airBaltic take the biggest market share at TLL, while “additional passengers have also been brought by economy airlines Ryanair, Wizzair and Norwegian”, the airport says.

“In January and February, the number of passengers increased by 17% and 14%, respectively, which has been a positive surprise for us and shows continued increase in demand,” Pärgmäe elaborated.

“However, regardless of the numbers, it is important that the withdrawal of Nordica has not resulted in a decline in number of passengers, and instead we have managed to increase the number of seats through alternative solutions.”

Last year brought a record-breaking number of passengers for Tallinn Airport, and on the last day of the year the threshold of 3 million passengers was crossed, which makes 8,200 passengers and 60 flights per day on average.

In 2018, Riga Airport handled over 7 million passengers, against just over 6.3 million at Lithuania’s three international airports and 3 million at Tallinn Airport.

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