While passenger figures at Tallinn Airport reported for July are only around a quarter of the figure for the same month last year, there has been a threefold growth since June.
75,682 passengers passed through Tallinn Airport in July, three times the figure for June, but approximately 24% of the volume of passengers in July last year. Flights on average were a little over 50% full, in July.
The coronavirus pandemic brought flights to a virtual standstill from March to May, with over 90% of scheduled services cut at the peak of the crisis.
However, recovery has come since then, as more and more direct flight destinations have been opened, mainly due to countries reported COVID-19 rates falling below the 25 per 100,000 inhabitants set by the Economic Affairs Ministry.
“In the last two months, the number of destinations has increased significantly, offering people the opportunity to fly for both holidays and business trips. In July, flights to Warsaw, Milan, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh and Dublin were resumed,” Riivo Tuvike, CEO of Tallinn Airport, said via a press release.
The average load per flight also improved in July, reaching 53%.
“The highest passenger volumes and higher load factors were mainly on flights to countries with low infection rates. In July, Vienna became one of the most popular destinations, with Air Baltic, Ryanair and Wizzair flying there,” Tuvike added.
At the same time, some restored connections can be very short-lived. Hungarian budget airline Wizzair restored its link between Tallinn and three major Ukrainian cities on July 31, only for the service to be cut again after that country’s coronavirus rate exceeded the ceiling.
A total of 2,140 flights took place in July, an average of 69 landings and take-offs per day.
There were also a few one-off flights to Malaga and Girona in Spain (currently above the threshold at 53.6 per 100,000) and charter flights to Greece (well below the threshold at 4.3).
Riivo Tuvike added that the situation was ever-changing and so passengers should follow schedule updates for flights in the days leading up to a planned trip, as well as coronavirus rates in the destination country and regulations in that country, which could often be different from Estonia’s.
Arrivals from countries with a COVID-19 rate of over 16 per 100,000 in the preceding 14 days must self-quarantine for two weeks in Estonia. Arriving passengers must reportedly fill out a form at Tallinn airport, which includes signing to the effect they understand they can be fined up to EUR 9,600 for breaching quarantine requirements.
While under quarantine, individuals may only leave the place of stay to make essential purchases of food, medical and other necessities, or when directed to do so by a medical professional, or in an emergency. (ERR/Business World Magazine)