A record number of 2.65 passengers, a 19 per cent increase on the year previous, travelled through Tallinn Airport in 2017. The exact number of passengers was 2,648,361. In December, Tallinn Airport served a total of 188,600 passengers, 18.1 per cent more than in 2016.
According to Eero Pärgmäe, Commercial Director of Tallinn Airport, 2017 was an exceptional year in air traffic. “The favourable economic environment supported the demand in regular flights throughout the year. In addition, the number of charter passengers made an impressive upsurge,” Pärgmäe noted. The increase in the number of passengers remained stable, averaging 16 per cent. In the second half of the year, the growth rate reached 20 per cent, which was supported by the EU Presidency. The number of charter passengers grew 31 per cent in a year. “One good way to explain the growth rate is this: in the preceding ten years the number of passengers at Tallinn Airport increased by 500,000, but in the last year alone the number of passengers grew by 427,000 in Tallinn,” Pärgmäe added.
Tallinn Airport also expects the number of passengers to continue increasing this year, as new connections to current destinations – London, Kiev, Copenhagen, and Malta, Paphos in Cyprus, Ohrid in Macedonia and Constanta in Romania – and new destinations will be added.
The biggest developmental leap among air carriers last year was demonstrated by Nordica, which in cooperation with LOT Polish Airlines served 69 per cent more passengers than the year before. Also, other local airlines have shown strong growth – Transaviabaltika, which organises flights between Estonia’s largest islands and the mainland, carried 88 per cent more passengers last year and SmartLynx Estonia, which organises charter flights, increased its number of passengers by 50 per cent.
There were 16 regular airlines flying from Tallinn, the largest of which was Nordica with a 23 per cent market share, followed by airBaltic, Finnair, Lufthansa and Ryanair, with market shares remaining between 9 and 15 per cent. The average seat occupancy of flights grew by 69 per cent last year.
It is possible to fly to 25 destinations, including Kärdla and Kuressaare, from Tallinn throughout the year. Together with seasonal summer routes, there were 36 destinations to choose from at peak time. St Petersburg, Gothenburg and Hamburg were added as new destinations. The UK’s aviation giant, British Airways, began flights from Heathrow, London’s biggest airport, to Tallinn.