One of Japan’s two biggest aviation companies, Japan Airlines, operated the flight with a Boeing 777 plane, which can accommodate 245 passengers on board. The arrival of the charter flight from Japan is the longest (7885 kilometres) and one of the biggest to have landed in Tallinn this summer.
Photo by: Magnus Heinmets
At Tallinn Airport, the traditional ‘water gates’ festively met the Japanese aircraft, who were served Estonian marzipan. According to Erik Sakkov, Member of the Management Board at Tallinn Airport, negotiations with Japanese airlines have been ongoing for years; however, a charter flight is no less a cause for celebration. “We are delighted that our Japanese friends have found their way to Estonia at last. I very much hope that this first charter flight is the beginning of bigger things to come,” Erik Sakkov affirmed.
The organiser of the charter service is the Tumlare travel agency, which organises trips for the Japanese to all of the Baltic States. According to Tumlare’s representative Anželika Mkrttsjan, Estonia and the Baltic States, being unexplored lands for the Japanese in a way, have become very popular amongst the Japanese. “Interest in Estonia and the Baltic States is growing by leaps and bounds, and we are doing everything to ensure that trips to Estonia and the other Baltic States become more frequent in the future,” Mkrttsjan said. She added that the Japanese prize our pristine nature, crafts, Old Town and architecture whilst marvelling at the large servings at Estonian eateries.
“To a large extent, Estonia’s tourism sector depends on flight connections, and accordingly the launch of every new flight service is a major step forward. Against the backdrop of the strengthening of the Asian segment, the arrival of this charter flight from Japan is the result of much-appreciated work. Even though we currently have no direct services to Asian countries, securing one-off flights is also significant. In air traffic, results are achieved one step at a time,” said Tarmo Mutso, Manager of the Tourism Development Centre of Enterprise Estonia. Mutso added that recent years have seen a steady increase in the number of Asian tourists.